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Cristina Nosti is Director, Events & Marketing at Books & Books. She recommends...
Reader Beware: This book may liberate you. It's not hard to imagine Russian-born Pelevin as a Zen master of the literary, intent on provoking enlightenment (his own, ours?) through his work. As the reader, you won't notice it happening. Just follow the hallucinatory love story and see where the fun leads. A Hu-Li, a fifteen-year-old Lolita-like, Moscow prostitute (really a two thousand year-old were-fox) uses her tail to seduce men and steal their life force. Soon, she meets Alexander, a high-ranking Russian intelligence officer (who is also a werewolf). These characters (and their sexual adventures) unleash a free-flow of ideas about pop culture, the chaotic state of post-Communist Russia, and the 'nature of mind' in Buddhist philosophy. The result is an outrageously enjoyable, uniquely mind-blowing, and transformational literary experience. A truly liberating read!
In this stunning memoir of the death in utero of her first child only days before his birth, McCracken has succeeded in writing a beautiful, precise and heartbreaking account without sentimentality or pity. McCracken, whose first novel, The Giant's House, was a National Book Award finalist, writes that at 35 she was prepared to stay a spinster, "the weird aunt, the oddball friend," until she met and married Edward. She became pregnant, and while they were living in an old farmhouse in France they passed over two doctors to select a midwife to deliver "Pudding" in the hospital in Bordeaux. Woven in with the story is the aftermath of his death, the reality of telling the people close to her what happened, and how she and Edward were able to go on. "I felt so ruined by life that I couldn't imagine it ever getting worse," she writes, deciding that if there is a God, "the proof of His existence is black humor," which she uses memorably to tell her story. She later writes of the emotions surrounding her second pregnancy and birth, this time in upstate New York. (That she gives birth to a second child, also a boy, makes it possible for readers to absorb the sadness of her loss.) She lends her narrative a spontaneous feel, as if she's telling as she remembers, making her account all the more personal. In the end, it is a triumph of her will and her writing that she has turned her tragedy into a literary gift.
Imagine The Sopranos, with snakes! The Lizard King is a fascinating account of a father and son family business suspected of smuggling reptiles, and the federal agent who tried to take them down.
A gorgeous new novel from the author of the Man Booker finalist A Long Long Way
As a young woman, Roseanne McNulty was one of the most beautiful and beguiling girls in County Sligo, Ireland. Now, as her hundredth year draws near, she is a patient at Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital, and she decides to record the events of her life.