Faber has written an incredible book, packaged beautifully—what a gift. I couldn’t help but be completely taken by it. Like all great storytelling, it contains a little bit of everything, but not too much of anything. It’s a moving exploration of relationships, faith, acts of grace and salvation, of humanity. Pick it up, read the description if you must, but then give yourself the book.
This book is the equivalent of that warm-crazy-high feeling you get when you're in a car during a storm with your best friend who you have feelings for and you don't know whether or not you're going to kiss them. And I didn't know how to put that feeling into words until I read that very beautiful scene. It's one of the most honest and amazing literary portrayals of coming to terms with your sexuality and identity.
A retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” by one of my favorite authors of all time! Juliet Marillier places the story in an intriguing Transylvanian setting and walks the line between fantasy and historical fiction. The sisters' encounters with the otherworldly Night People and their travels to and from their dark kingdom provide a lush background to this story of sibling bonds and young love.
I normally roll my eyes at the mention of multi-generational family sagas, but Middlesex is in a class of its own. Its intersex narrator Cal describes in omniscient detail and affectionately disparaging tone the love affairs and circumstances that lead to his unique condition. From a small Greek village to the streets of Prohibition Detroit, Cal's story is one of identity, nature vs. nurture, and how our choices make us what we are.
An intelligent, idealistic undergrad is entranced by her older literature professor--until she becomes fixated on his alluring wife. The language throughout this novel is so effortlessly sensual, with each sentence a treasure to be dissected and savored. It's a taut, smart story about desire and obsession and sex, and Regina is a powerful headliner in the woefully underpopulated world of gender-ambivalent protagonists.
This is a quiet, sad reverie about friendship, faith, love, and family, and how war changes everything and yet nothing. Each time I read it, I am transported to the raucous apartments of Oxford, the magnificent Brideshead estate, and the gloomy fields of the English countryside. The language is divine and the characters—especially eccentric, charming Sebastian—are unforgettable. A perfect end-of-summer book.
Joshua Ferris is certainly one of most talented writers of his generation. His newest novel is a stinging, hilarious story of an emotionally wounded Brooklyn dentist who realizes he’s being impersonated on Facebook and Twitter by an ancient religious tribe and starts to question everything he took for true. Bizarre, smart, and brilliant in style.
Probably the most beautiful wartime romance ever written. Japrisot’s masterpiece is a brutal, enchanting dreamscape of World War I through the eyes of two wonderstruck young lovers. More than a love story, it wonders if love and the individual become insignificant in the upheaval of war. Beware that you’re likely to bawl your eyes out.
I re-read this book every year around Halloween: a “California Gothic,” eerie and tripped-out, imagined along the crag of The Lost Coast, through the haze of psychedelics, ghosts, and coastal fog. Murder, adultery, resurrection, outlaws, a witch, possible demonic possession—the main character even visits the Santa Cruz Boardwalk! Denis Johnson is a genius.
If you’ve always thought, Oh, I’ve been meaning to read that!—don’t put it off any longer! At almost 1000 pages, I was never bored once. Based on the author’s life, it follows an escaped Australian convict as he weaves a new life in Bombay, from his makeshift hospital in the slums to the “glamor” of the drug- and gun-smuggling mafia. There’s also an intense, honest love story.