24 06, 2015

THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR by Scott Hawkins

By | Wednesday, June 24, 2015|8 Comments

THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR by Scott HawkinsThe Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Published by Crown on June 16th 2015
Pages: 388
Genres: Books & Reading, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction
ARC provided by Crown Publishing Group

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Neil Gaiman meets Joe Hill in this astonishingly original, terrifying, and darkly funny contemporary fantasy.
 
Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for.
 
After all, she was a normal American herself, once.
 
That was a long time ago, of course--before the time she calls "adoption day," when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.
 
Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible.
 
In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.
 
Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library--and with it, power over all of creation. As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her.
 
But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price--because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.

This book was so different. The Library at Mount Char has elements of fantasy, magic, horror, physiological twists, and science fiction. Yea, it is pretty much a mash of genres. Did I forget to mention that all centers on a library? A bit far out, but really cool. Let me try to break […]

14 03, 2015

B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman

By | Saturday, March 14, 2015|2 Comments

B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. HallmanB & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 10th 2015
Pages: 288
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Books & Reading, General, Literary, Literary Criticism
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley

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A funny, frisky, often outrageous book about love, literature, and modern life—and a wink of the eye to U and I, Nicholson Baker’s classic book about John Updike—by an award-winning author called “wonderfully bright” by The New York Times Book Review.

Nearly twenty-five years ago, Nicholson Baker published U and I, the fretful and handwringing—but also groundbreaking—tale of his literary relationship with John Updike. U and I inspired a whole sub-genre of engaging, entertaining writing about reading, but what no story of this type has ever done is tell its tale from the moment of conception, that moment when you realize that there is writer out there in the world that you must read—so you read them. B & Me is that story, the story of J. C. Hallman discovering and reading Nicholson Baker, and discovering himself in the process.

Our relationship to books in the digital age, the role of art in an increasingly commodified world, the power great writing has to change us, these are at the core of Hallman’s investigation of Baker—questions he’s grappled with, values he’s come to doubt. But in reading Baker’s work, Hallman discovers the key to overcoming the malaise that had been plaguing him, through the books themselves and what he finds and contemplates in his attempts to understand them and their enigmatic author: sex, book jackets, an old bed and breakfast, love, Monica Lewinsky, Paris, marriage, more sex, the logistics of libraries. In the spirit of Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage and Elif Batuman’s The Possessed, B and Me is literary self-archaeology: a funny, irreverent, brilliant, incisive story of one reader’s desperate quest to restore passion to literature, and all the things he learns along the way.

I am completely at a loss as to how to review this book. This is a book about a man dissecting the writings of Nicholas Baker. He reflects on the writings real and inferred meanings. He laments his actions in life as he is discovering. He quips about the meaninglessness and righteousness of […]

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