Jonathan Carroll’s work is often described as magic realism, but I think Neil Gaiman said it best by stating that reading Carroll is “as if John Updike were to write a Philip K Dick novel.”
Carroll’s book packs in a lot of different stories and details, often mixed together. The very pages of the book are a thin paper; the smoky images at the head of each chapter are visible through the pages.
This is an adult graphic novel about a fictional domestic relationship between Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins. Much license is taken here, as Danzig and Rollins are most definitely not in a domestic relationship, but their real life personalities come through in the fictional character’s day to day lives. This gives it a niche audience. But if you are at all familiar with the real life characters, you will be well rewarded with plenty of laughs.
Rainbow Rowell has effectively cemented herself into my list of favorite, must-read authors. Her characters are so authentic and likable that reading this book is like spending time visiting with old friends. The premise of this novel involves 3 characters working at an Omaha newspaper in the midst of Y2K. Lincoln is a shy, 28 year old going through a rough patch in life. He is living at home with his mother and doesn't know what he wants to do with his life.
If you like pouring over old atlases or scrolling though Google maps, you will probably like this book. The author is a geographer, not a travel guide, and this comes through in the tone of the book as well as subjects covered.
The connection of what makes each of these places so strange is human intervention, either through physical occupation or mapmaking. The book’s first entry is about Sandy Island, which was neither sandy nor an island. But it was on maps for centuries.
There aren’t that many authors that I love. Jonathan Carroll is one of them.
Carroll writes what inevitably ends up being labeled fantasy, but is really simply our lives and emotions expressed more clearly and intriguingly than our workaday world allows for. The mutable nature of reality and the down-to-earth approach to cosmic revelations recall the works of Philip K Dick.
A.J. Fikry is a miserable man. His wife died tragically, his bookstore is struggling and now his prized possession, a rare edition of Poe’s Tamerlane has been stolen from his apartment. The sale of that book was what was going to get A.J. off this island some day. Now A.J. is stuck on Alice Island, where he has alienated most of the population with his superior attitude and bad disposition. Everything changes for A.J. when a mysterious bundle is left in his bookstore one night. This small bundle gives A.J.
Pippi Longstocking is available as a comic! Over several four page spreads, Pippi's stories are told. You learn about her strength, her bad manners, her oddities, and all of her friends. You meet Pippi's father, the king of the Kurrakurradootas on Kurrakurradoot Island. The illustrations and stories are charming and this is a good introduction to Pippi for children who are not quite ready for the novel yet. Don't miss the other comic, Pippi Moves In.
Just in time for the holidays, this short cookbook has new and traditional sweet and savory cheese ball recipes. If you are inclined, take the time to copy the cheese-ball-sculptures; it will definitely amuse your friends and family. While I'm not one to spend much time on presentation (solely due to lack of skill), the recipes themselves are really good on their own.
Eleanor & Park are two high school misfits living in 1986, Omaha, Nebraska. Park is half-Asian, his mom is Korean and his dad American, and looks just different enough to stand out in his white bread community. Eleanor has long, frizzy red hair, is full-figured and lives in one of the saddest situations you can possibly imagine. She has recently come home to her 4 siblings, mother and no-good stepfather after having been away for over a year.
This book was far outside my normal reading, and that novelty may be a large contributing factor towards how much I enjoyed it. Gideon Smith & the Mechanical Girl is a Steampunk novel, set, of course, in Victorian England – specifically 1890. The author, David Barnett, presents an alternate history that includes Pulp-Adventurers, Bram Stoker, Elizabeth Bathory, Frog-man M
Comic books, especially superhero comics, are not a part of my daily life, but I couldn’t resist the lure of the infographics in this book. Once I started looking at the charts, I had to read every page, despite not recognizing many of the characters—especially the villains.
For the first time since her husband’s death, Natalie Waters is returning to her family’s cabin in the secluded north woods of Wisconsin. She expects to be surrounded by her memories and solitude, but what she finds is something altogether different. After her dog is attacked by a wolf, Natalie finds herself in the middle of the heated conflict between local advocates of the Timber Wolf population and local hunters. Her once peaceful retreat is now threatened by violence. Natalie turns to some old friends for support and ends up on another little adventure.
If you are tired of dystopian tales read no further.
Still here? Good, I have a book that you may enjoy. Jennifer Government was released in 2004 though I think the content seems more relevant today than it did prior to the 2008 financial meltdown and its subsequent fallout.
I have been a Neil Gaiman fan since reading my first Sandman graphic novel many years ago, his book American Gods is the only reason I ever went to House on the Rock and he writes Dr. Who episodes – so enough said, I’m an fan boy. His latest work certainly doesn’t hurt his legacy. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a short book, if you get sucked in like I did you can knock it out in a night.
This summer the latest and most-likely last (hopefully not!) installment of the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen), was released. The 8 books follow Artemis’ adventures with the Fairy world: dwarves, trolls, goblins, centaurs, pixies, and more; they all live under the earth’s surface but pop up every now and then. Artemis is a young, criminal mastermind, determined to steal Fairy gold to fund the search for his missing father and to refill the family fortune’s rapidly emptying coffers.
If you consider yourself an outdoorsperson or know someone who loves hunting, fishing, camping or outdoor gear, you will likely enjoy the humor of Patrick F. McManus. His life stories and musings are a mix of truth and exaggeration featuring many memorable characters, like mountain-man-old-timer Rancid Crabtree, and Crazy Eddie Muldoon: a great child-inventor who always had a new, 'good idea' of how to 'surprise' his parents. ("And guess what, Pat! You get to test the deep sea diving outfit! Don't that sound fun?!")