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Ksenia's Reviews

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a dark, country-noir eco-thriller, written by a Nobel Prize winner and set in a village on the border between Poland and Czech Republic. The protagonist, a retired teacher and an amateur astrologer, has a theory that the deaths of local hunters are caused by animals keen to enact revenge on those who abuse and murder them. But is her theory too far-fetched to be true? Gorgeous, haunting, and unputdownable, I highly recommend it for fans of quieter, stranger mysteries. — Ksenia

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Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780525541349
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 11th, 2020

The Searcher by Tana French

A slow-burning, tense, character-driven thriller from one of the most brilliant writers of our time. French is fantastic at setting the claustrophobic, surveillant atmosphere of rural Ireland, where everyone knows one another and seemingly nothing ever happens. Through her words, we see the world from the perspective of retired cop Cal, who immigrated from Chicago to look for peace only to find trouble knocking on the door of his dilapidated cottage. A must-read for lovers of literary mysteries and small-town secrets. — Ksenia

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ISBN: 9780735224650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 6th, 2020

Girls Against God by Jenny Hval

Set in 1990s Norway and written by a Norwegian avant-garde musician, this experimental stream-of-consciousness novel is simply an incomparable experience and no short summaries can do it justice. Part incantation, part time-traveling science-fiction novel, part rigorously researched feminist manifesto, it’s so radical, visceral, and wild!  — Ksenia

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ISBN: 9781788738958
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Published: Verso Fiction - October 6th, 2020

Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda

Based on traditional Japanese yōkai tales (conveniently summarized at the end of the volume), this collection of loosely connected short stories is a feminist, queer retelling that gives the ghosts a second chance at life and love. Life affirming and whimsical, these stories invite the reader into a world where becoming a ghost is but a beginning: of freedom from gender roles; of a fulfilling career; and of a death-time of happiness. Loved it!  — Ksenia

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Where the Wild Ladies Are Cover Image
By Aoko Matsuda, Polly Barton (Translator)
ISBN: 9781593766900
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - October 20th, 2020

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam

Every so often I come across a book that I want to buy a hundred copies of and give it to everyone I know, and maybe a few strangers. These are usually the hardest to review as I am simply at a loss for words. Punching the Air, a novel in verse about a wrongfully imprisoned Black teenager, co-written by one of the Exonerated Five, is one of those books—incomparably beautiful, radical, poignant, and so much more. Don't miss it! —Ksenia

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ISBN: 9780062996480
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 1st, 2020

The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

A must-read for Agatha Christie fans! Structured as a series of short stories read and discussed by an editor and a writer, The Eighth Detective is one of the most unique mysteries I’ve ever read. The author of the stories, a reclusive mathematician, has written them to prove the existence of four permutations behind all detective fiction—but there are inconsistencies in his creations that may be pointing to a larger, more sinister mystery that has inspired them. —Ksenia

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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ISBN: 9781250755933
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Published: Henry Holt and Co. - August 4th, 2020

Three Apples Fell from the Sky by Narine Abgaryan

Translated from the Russian, Three Apples is a story of an isolated, close-knit village community in the Armenian mountains, where all younger people have long since left or were lost to the famine and war, and only the older folks remain—until a budding romance between the only two single residents shakes everything up and breathes new life into this dying village. Soul-warming and endlessly charming, this fable-like novel is a trip to the countryside unreservedly worth taking. —Ksenia

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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By Narine Abgaryan, Lisa C. Hayden (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781786077301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oneworld Publications - August 4th, 2020

The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-Eun

This darkly comedic eco-thriller is an urgent, ingenious commentary on climate change, global capitalism, the First World’s morbid interest in the areas devastated by poverty and disasters. The novel, translated from the Korean, tells the story of a remote island under the risk of oblivion. Desperate to keep the tourist business, the locals are secretly working on a plan to fabricate a catastrophe—but only a few understand the real cost of such a risky endeavor… Unputdownable!  —Ksenia

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By Yun Ko-Eun, Lizzie Buehler (Translator)
ISBN: 9781640094161
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Published: Counterpoint LLC - August 4th, 2020

Down Days by Ilze Hugo

Topical for the COVID-19 era, this magical realist novel is inspired by the 1962 Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic and set in a fictional version of Cape Town, Ilze Hugo’s hometown. This time, the laughter never stopped; seven years later, everyone is wearing a mask, laughing is forbidden, taxi drivers are death collectors, and a little girl is trying to find her brother—who may or may not be a ghost. But when even the truth is up for debate, what is one to do but laugh?

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The Down Days: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982121549
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Skybound Books - May 5th, 2020

The Secrets They Left Behind by Lissa Marie Redmond

A young police officer, Shea, is sent undercover to infiltrate a small college town where three freshman girls have disappeared without a trace. Shea herself is an immensely sympathetic protagonist who just survived another undercover case, which left her with PTSD and a distrust of her male handler, who doesn’t seem to care about her well-being. Written by a retired cold case homicide detective, this standalone mystery is a remarkable, superbly paced police procedural that kept me on the edge of my seat and is an ode to female strength, loyalty, and friendship. 

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The Secrets They Left Behind: A Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643852997
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Published: Crooked Lane Books - April 7th, 2020


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