This novel recounts the story of an Indiana woman who assumes the guise of a man, Ash Thompson, to fight for the Union in the Civil War. The opening line, “I was strong and he was not so it was me went to war to defend the Republic” demonstrates how powerfully simply the author writes. No detail of the war or bloodshed is spared, including the gallows humor of men in battle, but the language is so beautiful, with the dialogue ringing so period true, that a perfect balance is struck.
When done right there's something magical about books told from the point of view of an animal. With this sensitive and lovely story Pennypacker carries the torch passed down from Felix Salten (Bambi) and Sterling North (Rascal). When Peter and his fox Pax are seperated by an impending war to be reunited both must face an epic journey that will test and ultimately redeem them. A great read for children of all ages.
This unrelenting portrait of the greedy squandering of our precious natural resources is both a beautiful excursion into the heart of human darkness and a brutal story that squarely combats the myth of the West. A forerunner of Cormac McCarty, this is an underappreciated great that clamors for a wider audience.
While she is the subject of one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century, little is known about Christina Olson. This novel imagines her life hobbled by illness and familial obligation and how becoming an unwitting muse allowed her a freedom real life denied her.
I can't think of a more evocative narrative muse than Edward Hopper. Apparently Lawrence Block feels the same because he asked a diverse group of author friends (Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and more) to pick a painting and write a story about it. This carefully curated collection features ensnaring tales from all genres so strong it's hard to pick a favorite. With its full color plates, this would make a lovely gift for fans of Hopper's broody genius or anyone intruiged by the intersection of artistic mediums.
Chevalier resets Othello, the classic story of jealousy and revenge, as a tale of schoolyard bullying set in the 1970s. In her masterful hands knowing how the story ends only increases the tension and the casual racism of the period makes it, sadly, feel as timely as ever. The best entry yet in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
Both wonderful and heartbreaking, this debut puts readers into the mind of a 13 year old autistic girl who just might blow her chance at a forever family to do the right thing when the adults around her fail to understand the burden she can't articulate or put down. This book will make you anxious but also make you cheer.
A dark exploration of the world of competitive gymnastics that portrays the agony and urgency of desire, the unknowablility of others and the burden of expectation. A crime novel where the crime is only the catalyst for an examination of a family's unraveling. Abbott at her very best.
Equal parts a memoir about moving solo to the big city and a criticism of visual artists (Darger, Warhol, Hopper) who prominantly feature loneliness in their work, this book is a weird hybrid that totally works. My favorite book of 2016!
If you spent time in the 70's or 80's reading cheap horror paperbacks that you bought off a drugstore rack with die cut or foil covers have we got a book for you! Browse these old covers (Orca or Crabs: The Human Sacrifice anyone?) and go back in time. A MUST for horror fans.
Horror is not simply slithering in the dark-it's at the mall on a weekday, it's at the mini mart, it rains down from a clear blue sky. Joe Hill knows this and after reading this collection of novellas (a hat tip to his father's Different Seasons?) you will too.
This arresting graphic novel casts Frida Kahlo's life as one long conversation with Death appropriate, if you think, due to her poor health and tempestous love life, it really was her most constant companion. Works as both a primer for the Kahlo novice and a must have for fans.