Thursday, February 28, 2019

Top ten books about women and the sea

Charlotte Runcie is an author and journalist. Her first book, Salt on Your Tongue, is a nonfiction story about women, art and the sea, and the epic nature of childbirth, told through the myths and legends of salt water.

One of her ten favorite books about women and the sea, as shared at the Guardian:
Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail by Suzanne Stark

Stark revealed the previously untold stories of female sea-goers from the 17th to the 19th centuries, women who were “officially ignored and often hidden”. Female Tars was a rare study of women at the sea when it was published in 1996, and has since become a crucial historical text, encompassing accounts of navy wives, prostitutes, deck hands, nurses, servants, and women who dressed as men in order to become sailors. I love Stark’s passionate writing, full of fascinating stories of a secret underclass.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Six sci-fi & fantasy novels inspired by the worlds of Africa

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ross Johnson tagged six "favorite recent sci-fi and fantasy novels that explore worlds inspired by African nations and traditions, past, present and future," including:
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

There’s been a recent international boom in literature of all genres from Nigeria, as a new generation of writers has joined with publishers eager to translate works for a global audience. At the same time, we’re seeing some of our most impressive science-fiction set in and around the country, lead by Naijamerican superstar Nnedi Okorafor. Her novels Akata Witch and Lagoon, both set near Lagos, are absolutely worth reading, but the Binti trilogy is her most impressive accomplishment to date. The three novellas (now collected together) together tell the story of a young Himba woman who defies her family to join a prestigious intergalactic university, in the process becoming something other when she communicates with and comes to understand the murderous and very alien Meduse.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Fifteen top books with a twist

Sophie Hannah is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous psychological thrillers. Her latest novel is The Next to Die.

At CrimeReads she tagged fifteen excellent examples of novels with genuine twists, including:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Not all superb twists need to come at the end. There’s a twist in the middle of this classic novel that takes it to another level of passion, intrigue and excitement. There are hints before the big reveal, but not even the most imaginative reader would dare to imagine the truth. Twists in the middles of stories rather than at their ends tend to say: “And what do we all think now?” rather than, “So THIS is what we’re supposed to think!”—and this one does that brilliantly.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Jane Eyre also made E. Lockhart's list of five favorite stories about women labeled “difficult,” Sophie Hannah's top ten list of twists in fiction, Gail Honeyman's list of five of her favorite idiosyncratic characters, Kate Hamer's top ten list of books about adopted children, a list of four books that changed Vivian Gornick, Meredith Borders's list of ten of the scariest gothic romances, Esther Inglis-Arkell's top ten list of the most horribly mistreated first wives in Gothic fiction, Martine Bailey’s top six list of the best marriage plots in novels, Radhika Sanghani's top ten list of books to make sure you've read before graduating college, Lauren Passell's top five list of Gothic novels, Molly Schoemann-McCann's lists of ten fictional men who have ruined real live romance and five of the best--and more familiar--tropes in fiction, Becky Ferreira's lists of seven of the best fictional depictions of female friendship and the top six most momentous weddings in fiction, Julia Sawalha's six best books list, Honeysuckle Weeks's six best books list, Kathryn Harrison's list of six favorite books with parentless protagonists, Megan Abbott's top ten list of novels of teenage friendship, a list of Bettany Hughes's six best books, the Guardian's top 10 lists of "outsider books" and "romantic fiction;" it appears on Lorraine Kelly's six best books list, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, and Jessica Duchen's top ten list of literary Gypsies, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best governesses in literature, ten of the best men dressed as women, ten of the best weddings in literature, ten of the best locked rooms in literature, ten of the best pianos in literature, ten of the best breakfasts in literature, ten of the best smokes in fiction, and ten of the best cases of blindness in literature. It is one of Kate Kellaway's ten best love stories in fiction.

The Page 99 Test: Jane Eyre.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 25, 2019

Leila Aboulela's recommended books

Leila Aboulela was born in Cairo, grew up in Khartoum and moved in her mid-twenties to Scotland. She is the author of five novels, Bird Summons, The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, The Kindness of Enemies, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards. Aboulela was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her latest story collection, Elsewhere, Home won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award.

At The Week magazine Aboulela recommended six books, including:
Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai (1999).

In a crumbling leafy bungalow in India, a dutiful daughter is restricted by her bad luck and selfish parents. This is juxtaposed against the culture shock felt by her brother, a student in the U.S. who is staying with a family in which the only daughter has an eating disorder. This is Desai at her most beautiful and insightful.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ten of the best books about Hollywood

At the Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw tagged the best books about Hollywood, including:
Literary takes on the movies have darkened over recent years, but they couldn’t get much darker than screenwriter Bruce Wagner’s 1996 novel I’m Losing You, an ensemble-cast horror story of modern Hollywood that encompasses paranoia, cruelty, assistant-abuse and self-hate. This horrid rush of fear is perhaps only to be expected from an author who co-wrote the screenplay for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, but it also anticipated the allegations in 2017 against Harvey Weinstein.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Ten notable scary books by women

Maryse Meijer is the author of Heartbreaker (2016), Northwood (2018), and Rag (2019). She lives in Chicago.

At Publishers Weekly Meijer tagged ten essential scary books by women, including:
In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Written in 1947, this noir masterpiece is narrated by a chillingly rational psychopath who stalks Los Angeles in search of young, single women. Hughes resists the sensational, keeping the violence mostly off-stage; instead, what makes Hughes’s novel so compelling and so disturbing is its focus on the mundanity of her killer’s life and motives; many readers will recognize the toxic masculinity seething beneath the surface of a charming, intelligent man who, feeling the world has not given him what he is owed, unleashes his rage on the bodies of women. It’s fast-paced, beautifully written, and almost suffocatingly dark in tone, and yet In a Lonely Place manages to resist cynicism, embracing instead a message of empowerment at its climax, refusing to glorify violence at the expense of its female characters—a truly radical stance that ennobles the murder-mystery genre.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 22, 2019

Ten top books about coming out

Kate Davies studied English at Oxford University before becoming a writer and editor of children’s books. She also writes comedy scripts and had a short-lived career as a burlesque dancer.

In at the Deep End is her debut novel.

At the Guardian Davies tagged ten very good books about coming out, including:
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Waters’ first novel, set in the 1890s, follows Nan King as she goes from naive Whistable oyster-girl to music-hall star to London rent boy to openly lesbian “tom”. Nan’s coming out is gradual: she falls for male impersonator Kitty Butler as soon as she sees her on stage, but quickly realises she has to keep her feelings to herself. By the end of the novel, though, she embraces her sexuality. She takes her lover’s hand in public, “and – careless of whether anybody watched or not – I leaned in and kissed her”.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Eight top crime novels featuring intense female friendship

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000, and since then she's written well over a dozen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages.

Parks's latest novel is I Invited Her In.

At CrimeReads she tagged eight "favorite thrillers and domestic noir novels centered around female friendship gone sour," including:
Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies

Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that ‘sharing is caring.’ Despite that, the annual school Elvis and Audrey Hepburn fancy dress gala night ends with wailing police sirens and one parent dead. Tightly plotted, Moriarty rolls back the veneer of the seemingly perfect lives of the parents at the idyllic school and the readers are plunged into a pit of deceit, scandal and dangerous lies. However, as the quagmire of endless challenges are negotiated—teenage rebellion, blended families, single motherhood, affairs, domestic violence and rape—one thing shines through, a tremendously intense and supportive friendship between three women: Jane, Madeline and Celeste. I love this celebration of friendship. I’m not saying it all ends well, I’m just saying it’s a joy to be part of their community and, as reader, I was.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Big Little Lies is among Michelle Frances's eight top workplace thrillers and Jeff Somers's ten novels that teach you something about marriage.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Six of the best books about LGBT life

John Boyne’s latest novel for younger readers is My Brother’s Name Is Jessica. At the Guardian he tagged "some classic, personal novels and true accounts of the battle for civil rights," including:
In non-fiction, David France’s How to Survive a Plague has become the definitive study of the Aids epidemic and how it swept through a generation of young men in the 1980s and 90s. France writes about the terror that people felt as HIV and Aids took hold of communities, stealing the lives of so many, about the activists who brought it to public attention, the politicians who refused to speak about it, and the doctors and scientists who worked on treatments and cures.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Twelve top stories of truly science fictional romance

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ceridwen Christensen tagged twelve stories of truly science fictional romance, including:
Galatea 2.2, by Richard Powers

Richard Powers’s 1995 novel is a retelling of the Pygmalion myth, about an artist falling in love with a statue he created, and the statue coming to life due to his ardor. In Galatea 2.2, a writer suffering from writer’s block returns to his alma mater for a sabbatical year. There, he’s tasked with teaching an AI named Helen the Western Canon, in the hopes that she can pass a literary Turing test of sorts: can a computer produce literary analysis that is indistinguishable from a human’s? Interwoven with his teaching of Helen are memories of a love affair he had with a woman he calls C. While he and Helen are never quite in a love affair themselves, the depth and complexity of their emotions, and the ways they are contrasted with his volatile relationship with C, make Galatea 2.2 a fascinating study in art and love: how much do we mold and change our lovers, and ourselves, through the act of love?
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 18, 2019

Six of Victor LaValle's favorite recent works

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle's DESTROYER.

LaValle is co-editor of A People's Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers.

At The Week magazine he recommended six favorite recent books, including:
The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt (2017).

Hunt — the author of The Seas, Mr. Splitfoot and The Invention of Everything Else — is one of the finest stylists writing in the English language. The stories in her first collection of short fiction are as sharp, funny, and deeply disturbing as one has come to expect from her. Her imagination is matched by her profound wit, and this book is a recent treasure.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sjón's ten desert island books

Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic novelist. He won the Nordic Council's Literary Prize for his novel The Blue Fox (the Nordic countries' equivalent of the Man Booker Prize) and the novel From The Mouth Of The Whale was shortlisted for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. His novel Moonstone – The Boy Who Never Was was awarded every Icelandic literature prize, among them the 2013 Icelandic Literary Prize. His latest published work is the definite edition of the trilogy CoDex 1962.

One of his ten favorite books, as shared at
The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

A novel that has as its main character an Old Lady who is liberated from the boredom of her secure life at an eccentric home for elderly ladies when given a hearing trumpet — and whose wish to go to the North Pole before she dies comes true in the most unlikely fashion — has to be good. Even though she is better known as one of the best painters of Surrealism, Leonora Carrington’s novels and short stories have had a strong influence on feminist and fantastic fiction. Constantly entertaining and unpredictable The Hearing Trumpet is infused with warmth and rebellion in equal measures.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Nine new books to read this Black History Month

At Entertainment Weekly David Canfield tagged nine of the best new books to read this Black History Month, including:
The New Negro by Jeffrey C. Stewart

This massive, National Book Award-winning biography brings to life Alain Locke, the founder of the Harlem Renaissance in astonishing detail, paying great homage to his intellectual brilliance and his creative spirit. It’s the kind of epic nonfiction which introduces you not just to one person, but the entire world around him — and how he changed it.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven deeply weird sci-fi & fantasy romances

Sam Reader is a writer and conventions editor for The Geek Initiative. He also writes literary criticism and reviews at At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog he tagged seven deeply weird sci-fi & fantasy romances,including:
Private Midnight, by Kris Saknussemm

Dubbed “a psychosexual fairytale” and featuring some of the weirdest fantasy visuals ever committed to the page, Kris Saknussemm’s surrealist noir manages to use one of the genre’s most recognizable tropes (hard-boiled detective and mysterious femme fatale) to interrogate numerous power and relationship dynamics, and flings the results into one of the the darker corners of fantasy horror. A corrupt cop named Birch Ritter is put on the trail of an unusual therapist-cum-dominatrix named Genevieve Wyvern, both for her role in several unusual deaths and disappearances, and as someone who can help him manage with his own inner turmoil. As Ritter gets closer to finding answers, and closer to Genevieve, things spiral wildly out of control, and might leave both of them irrevocably changed. It’s unconventional, but the novel’s internal dialogue—about power, toxicity, toxic masculinity, and control—has never been more relevant, personal, or upsettingly intriguing.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 15, 2019

Seven novels inspired by The Great War

Rhys Bowen's latest novel is The Victory Garden. At CrimeReads she tagged seven novels inspired by World War One, including:
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

From the writer of the best-selling Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, this is a gentler, sometimes humorous novel of the effects of war on the home front. Beatrice Nash arrives to be the Latin teacher at a boy’s school in Rye, on the south coast of England. It is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. She is also mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, and simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing. But no sooner has she settled in and forged a relationship with her boys than war is declared and the peaceful fabric of her little town is torn apart.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Top ten genre-twisting novels

Alan Trotter is a writer based in Edinburgh. Muscle, his debut novel, was awarded the inaugural Sceptre Prize for a novel-in-progress. He has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow - his dissertation concerned writers making unusual use of the form of the book.

One of his ten top genre-twisting novels, as shared at the Guardian:
VALIS by Philip K Dick

Imitators of Dick often share this problem: that behind their carefully fracturing, multiplying realities is the sense of a rational, maybe even clever author in command of it all. In the best of Dick’s novels, you feel the author’s own grip on reality might just be as tentative as that of his suffering characters. In VALIS (probably his masterpiece) the distinction between science-fiction fabulism and autobiography collapses completely, as a character that is explicitly Dick experiences a great revelation on the nature of existence by way of a pink laser beam.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Six thrillers featuring missing, mistaken, or "changed" children

C. J. Tudor is the author of The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne.

At CrimeReads she tagged six thrillers featuring terrifying changelings, including:
The Changeling, by Victor Lavalle

Apollo Kagwa grew up without a father and now that he’s a new dad himself, he is determined to be there for his baby son. But then his wife becomes convinced that their baby is not their baby, but something else. When Emma commits a horrific act and vanishes, Apollo begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets and a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live. A modern-day fairy tale about a devoted father’s confrontation with evil.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Seven of the best books about modern romance

Emma Jane Unsworth has worked as a journalist, a columnist for The Big Issue, and a barmaid. Her novel Animals (Canongate) won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015. Her next novel, Grown Ups, will be published by The Borough Press/HarperCollins in January 2020. The film of Animals, for which she wrote the screenplay, premiered at Sundance 2019.

At the Guardian Unsworth tagged seven of the best books about modern romance, including:
Equal parts academic and personal, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson is a study of gender, motherhood, queer theory, and the vessels we all become through love and damage. The descriptions of falling in love in this book destroyed me, in a good way.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Argonauts is among Greta Gerwig's ten desert island books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 11, 2019

Ten contemporary “Dickensian” novels

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged ten contemporary Dickensian novels, including:
Carlos Fuentes, tr. Edith Grossman, Destiny and Desire

Fuentes’ over-the-top epic is filled with orphans, travels, secrets, family struggles, ghosts, severed heads, convicts, colorful characters, political commentary and plot twists. What’s more, the author himself acknowledges Dickens as a major influence:
I had a very deep sense of Dickens as I wrote this. Charles Dickens was very present when I wrote the novel especially because the young men do not know who their parents are. There is a go-between, he’s a mysterious lawyer who doesn’t tell the men who their parents are. He plays that ‘go-between’ role very commonly found in Dickens’ novels. So, it’s a very Dickensian novel in that sense.
Straight from the horse’s mouth.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Eight thrillers featuring mothers on a mission

Christina McDonald's new novel is The Night Olivia Fell.

At CrimeReads she tagged eight thrillers featuring mothers on a mission, including:
Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight

Exploring themes of motherhood and the dangers of social media, Reconstructing Amelia sees single mother Kate on a mission to find out why her daughter unexpectedly killed herself. But as she uncovers more about Amelia’s life, Kate becomes increasingly convinced that Amelia didn’t kill herself: she was murdered. Kate embarks on a journey to find out the truth, no matter what the cost.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Reconstructing Amelia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Tracey Thorn's ten desert island books

Tracey Thorn is an English singer, songwriter and writer, best known as being one half of the duo Everything but the Girl.

One of her ten favorite books, as shared at
Lady Sings the Blues, by Billie Holiday

I read this at the same time as I discovered her music. It’s very shocking, full of sexual abuse, drug addiction, violence, and racism, and opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn’t known about or understood. It made me realize where songs like “Strange Fruit” had come from. The rawness of those songs had their roots in a devastating history of life experience.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 8, 2019

Top ten books about idleness

Josh Cohen is a professor of modern literary theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a psychoanalyst in private practice. He is the author of many books, including the newly released Not Working: Why We Have to Stop.

One of his ten top books about idleness, as shared at the Guardian:
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Moshfegh’s novel, published last year, reads a bit like a baroque rewriting of [George Perec's] A Man Asleep. The unnamed narrator’s elaborate project to self-induce a year-long sleep with prescription drugs and withdraw from the vapid New York of money, bad art and worse parties takes us through various narrative detours – a needy friend, a hideous ex, a mad psychiatrist – on the way to oblivion. Few novels have conveyed so powerfully the urge, induced by our culture of permanent visibility and stimulation, to shut down.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ten top works of literary fantasy

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged ten notable works of literary fantasy, including:
Chandler Klang Smith, The Sky is Yours

Another recent doorstop that I loved: this crazy adventure from Chandler Klang Smith, in which two aging dragons circle a destroyed city, a late capitalist heir bucks tradition, and a rich girl with too many teeth in her mouth finds herself queen of the criminals. Plus, you have wild, ludicrous, wonderful language, references to Infinite Jest, madcap adventure, and all the characters you can handle. It’s an absolute treat.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Eight of the best workplace thrillers

Michelle Frances's new novel is The Temp.

One of eight top workplace thrillers she tagged at CrimeReads:
The Firm, by John Grisham

An utterly terrifying book where the sense of entrapment gets your heart pounding from the minute you realize just how cleverly Mitch’s bosses have trussed him up. Then follows a game of cat and mouse that has you turning the pages furiously to see who will outwit the other and whether Mitch can get out of his job alive. Written by a true master, this is one of my all-time favorites, that I can read again and again and it never loses its grip.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Firm is among Jamie Kornegay's five top novels with criminals covering their tracks and Alafair Burke's seven top books that show the real lives of lawyers.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Steve Coll's book recommendations

Steve Coll is a Pulitzer Prize–winning author and reporter and the dean of Columbia University's journalism school. At The Week magazine he recommended six books, including:
Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–1945 by Barbara W. Tuchman (1971).

Like [Neil] Sheehan's masterpiece [A Bright Shining Lie], this book uses the experiences of one man to narrate a larger story, as U.S. Army Gen. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell becomes our window on China's early-20th-century traumas and America's role in them. Tuchman remains influential because of her mastery of complex narrative; I envy and still study her methods.
Learn about the other books on Coll's list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 4, 2019

Five books that reconnect us to astrology

Julia Whicker is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She’s had her poetry and essays published in the Iowa Review, Word Riot and The Millions, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel is Wonderblood.

At Whicker tagged five books that reconnect us to astrology, including:
Kepler by John Banville

In this second installment of Banville’s (underrated) Revolutions Trilogy, Johannes Kepler, the famed astronomer who discovered the scientific laws governing planetary motion, unhappily whiles away his time concocting horoscopes for the eccentric and probably insane Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. Despite Kepler’s frustration at having to cater to Rudolf’s manic astrological whims, he is firmly a man of his times: at the turn of the 16th century, most people believed the configurations of the heavens truly affected human destiny. However, Banville takes pains to demonstrate that Kepler is endlessly tormented by his desire to reconcile astrology with the increasingly complex mathematics required to prove his scientific laws. Kepler may have proven the elliptical orbits of the planets, but he also drew up over 800 horoscopes, speculated on the outcomes of wars and weather events, declared a supernova in 1604 to herald the conversion of America, and correctly predicted the month of a patron’s death. Banville’s writing style is excellently suited to describing Kepler’s apparently dour personality: some turns of phrase are so surprising and gross and gorgeous that they have never left me.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The seven best books to understand what is happening in Venezuela

Rory Carroll is the Guardian's Ireland correspondent and author of Comandante: Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

One of his seven best books to understand what is happening in Venezuela, as shared at the Guardian:
Dragon in the Tropics, by the Venezuelan academics Javier Corrales and Michael Penfold, is a scholarly focus on the politics, explaining how Chávez bequeathed a system based on populism, personality cult, electoral success and authoritarianism to a hapless successor. Lacking the comandante’s charisma and his luck with high oil prices, Maduro dialled up the thuggery and militarisation.
Read about the other books Carroll tagged.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Nine books about coming of age in a city

Dana Czapnik is the author of The Falconer: A Novel.

At Electric Lit she tagged some of her favorite novels featuring kids or young adults coming of age in cities, including:
Just Kids by Patti Smith

Just Kids, the rock legend Patti Smith’s memoir of her relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe in New York in the 60s and 70s, is a symphony. It’s the story of falling in love for the first time with that part of your heart only accessible during youth. It’s a story of a young woman determined to create the right life for herself. It’s the story of a city at the epicenter of a movement, when there wasn’t much of a difference between the average beatnik and the one who got famous — a city run by kids. It’s a story about two people discovering and cultivating their art. It’s a story about choosing poetry. Just Kids should be required reading for everyone aged 20, on the cusp of everything. It’s a manual for navigating the pain and the reward that comes with being fully open to life.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Just Kids is among Dan Holmes's twenty best memoirs written by musicians.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 1, 2019

Eight top books of sisterly friction

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as the best book of the month for March 2016 and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Loigman’s new novel is The Wartime Sisters.

One of the author's eight more compelling books about sisters who don't get along, as shared at LitHub:
J. Courtney Sullivan, Saints for All Occasions

This book was one of my favorites from 2017. When the story opens, sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn have been estranged for decades. Nora is a widow with grown children and grandchildren, while Theresa has chosen to lead a cloistered life in a convent. When a tragic family loss forces the two to connect, their early history and memories are revealed. Readers learn about the difficult choices that bound the sisters together, and the painful secrets that drove them apart. Sullivan explores sisterhood at its best and its worst—the stunning sacrifices we make for those we love, and the catastrophic consequences that can sometimes result.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue