paul's corner

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About Paul

Unique selections of books from our book buyer Paul Ingram. He compiles great lists of books on varying topics.

If you have any requests for recommendations, send Paul an email at

  • Paul's Corner: Shelter by Jung Yun

    Shelter Jung Yun

    Shelter by Jung Yun
    Jung Yun was born in Korea and grew up in North Dakota and went to Vassar.  Her first novel is poignant and loving and filled with the sorrows of not having been loved as a child.  Shelter itself the house/home, the goal of every successful American.  Kyung is losing his home to the housing crisis, and is too embarrassed to ask his wealthy, distant parents for financial help.  As the distance between generations increases, Kyung’s parents’ lives are compromised by and ugly home invasion which forces the family uncomfortably closer.  I haven’t read such a powerful immigrant narrative in years.  It is a sad book with a hopeful ending, rare these days.  It will remind you of House of Sand and Fog.  I like it more.


  • Paul's Corner: Bottomland by Michelle Hoover

    Bottomland Michelle Hoover

    Michelle Hoover, who wowed Prairie Lights’ audience with her reading from her first novel, The Quickening, now has a second novel. It’s called Bottomland and, like her first book, deals with life in rural Iowa (Hoover is from Ames) in the early part of the 20th Century. This book is a bit more of a thriller than was The Quickening. It involves an escaped German prisoner of who may have kidnapped a farm child. As always, Hoover’s novel is well-researched, with characters who emerge from the circumstances of their lives. The reader is pulled in from the first page.  She’ll be reading at PL April 26.  If you love Willa Cather and the other great mid-western writers, you won’t want to miss this reading.


  • Paul's Corner: The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery

    The Life of Elves Muriel Barbery

    Muriel Barbery is a wonderful French novelist, whose earlier book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, was an international bestseller. Life of Elves is something different altogether. It is a perfectly straight-faced exploration of Faerie and Elven life and culture, a book like you’d think Ursula K. Leguin might be able to pull off. Faerie cultures exist in nearly every world culture, parallel people living lives parallel to our own on earth. Not just like humans but peculiarly different. Readers should understand that nothing in The Life of Elves resembles children’s literature and that much of it is dark-hued in tone. It is a magnificent work of the imagination and thrilling book not to be missed.