A book that came to me at just the right moment. Odell questions our conceptions of productivity in this thoughtful and well-researched book by delving into the history of those who fought for our right to participate in society not solely as mechanisms of production; from Epicurus to the Longshoremen Union of San Francisco. A fascinating analysis of the urgent need to reevaluate an economic system that suffers when the creative mind is allowed to reflect, rest, and restore. This book matters.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author returns to Bath, New York (the setting for his 1993 novel "Nobody's Fool") for this rollicking summer read. It's a hilarious novel about working people who you will come to love. There is a bit of a mystery, some infidelity, some violence, and even a loose cobra. Currently one of my favorite books.
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Ever wondered what it's like to be a single mother living in poverty working as a maid with aspirations of becoming a writer? Or are you one already? Stephanie Land wrote this book to share her experiences doing this, and tells what a strange experience it is to regularly visit homes to clean when the inhabitants are out. She tells of getting to know so many things about the people who live there while remaining anonymous, faceless, invisible, and replaceable.
This collection of grotesque domestic fiction is a strange mirror to our everyday lives. These stories carry the comedy, whimsy, and directness of a Shel Silverstein poem, but its application to the real and adult worlds gives them a disturbing strength. A good book if you're looking for a fast, strange time.
While we are all stakeholders in the effects of global warming, discussions usually consider the needs of business investors and how policy affects their bottom line, while subsistence needs of the geographically vulnerable and impoverished populations are marginalized, if they are considered at all. As UN Special Envoy on climate change, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson is keenly aware that those who are bound to suffer the consequences of climate change most are not its major perpetrators. Robinson describes how marginalized stakeholders are finding ways to communicate their plight and direct policy, changing the focus of the issue to one of social justice. We need to concentrate our efforts now before we face a rush of emergencies. This discussion gives instruction and hope.
Muriel Barbery, author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, has an extraordinary new novel. It is a very adult book focused on mythical Faerie and Elven culture, the equivalent of which exists in nearly every world culture. Just to remind you again, there is nothing in this book to remind you of children’s literature. It divulges a culture much as Ursula LeGuin does in the best of her books DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK!
This is a brief, but beautiful little novel made from the simplest stuff. The narrator is a bartender in late middle age. The suburban bistro he works at is falling apart and over the course of a few days he tries to patch things together. In the process he ruminates over his position and life in general. This is Fabre’s ninth novel but the first in English translation.
A new book by Simon Van Booy is always a cause to celebrate, and Tales of Accidental Genius is indeed celebratory. With just a handful of short stories (and one long story to close the book blossoming out of the previous tale), Mr. Van Booy reminds the reader that no matter one's age, race, habitat or habits, we are all human, and are all attempting to connect -- or re-connect, I should say -- with the world around us and our place in it. These stories are like beacons in the darkness, and Mr. Van Booy's incredible ability to deliver the most profound observances by way of the simplest of sentences is breathtaking. Like any master of their craft, he makes it appear effortless. You'll want to read these again and again -- Simon Van Booy's genius is no accident.
An extraordinary novel, one of the best I've read all year. The often brutal story centers around a girl orphaned in a war-torn Eastern European country, a writer suffering a deep depression after a stillbirth, and the writers' artist friends, who conspire to connect the two. The book's power resides in its stunning language, interesting formal experimentation, and daring exploration of war, art, motherhood, sex, and violence.