Embassytown, China Mieville, May ’11: as you know, i am a great big squee’ing fangirl for this guy. and the new book is his best yet (and i’ve verified this with bookavore, so you know it must be true). space! the future! strange species! politics! linguistics! UH MAZ ING. also, he will be in NYC in June and we are presenting an event with him (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and you can buy tickets here.
You Believers, Jane Bradley, May ’11: this book was hard to read. it makes me wonder if we’re not in some kind of Season of Missing Girls (see also: Coffins of Little Hope, The Fates Will Find Their Way) — the main character is a woman who specializes in helping families with missing loved ones (she’s not a kidnapping negotiator or anything, more of a cross between a community organizer and a police consultant) and she’s called in on a case of a missing woman in her 20s. a dark and uncomfortable read, pretty well done on the whole.
Turn of Mind, Alice LaPlante, July ’11: another tough read. a woman, a brilliant hand surgeon, with early onset Alsheimer’s is suspected of murder, and even she doesn’t know if she is guilty. what makes this novel both so good and so difficult is that it’s written in journal entries from the main character. so the narrative is fragmented, twisted, and wiggly — sometimes she knows what’s going on, sometimes she doesn’t. the ending particularly, OOOF.
Feynman, Ottaviani & Myrick, Aug. ’11: this is a fun one. biography of yes, THAT Feynman, Richard Feynman, told in graphic novel form. if you’ve already read a lot of his work (i haven’t) you’ll probably recognize the materials they are drawing from, but i think you’d still enjoy this. a fun narrative structure, some very interesting work in terms of subtext in the images. there’s even some physics, if that floats your boat!
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern, Sept ’11: i LOVED this book. i think it’s going to be the next Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — it has that same lit-fiction/spec-fiction crossover appeal (and is about 1/4 the page count). gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. two magicians, raised specifically to combat each other, fall in love as their duel plays itself out in the grounds of a circus that masquerades as ordinary but is anything but. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.