On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong - Book Review

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562023
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Published: Penguin Press - June 4th, 2019

This is one beautiful book—transcendent and painful with a poet’s prose. Vuong, as reviewers have said, creates a new kind of immigrant novel. Written as a letter to a mother who cannot read English, the autobiographical narrator Little Dog shares his family history—his grandmother who married a veteran of the Vietnam war, his mother working in a nail salon, and himself growing up in Connecticut. Gorgeously constructed with reoccurring leitmotifs, Little Dog takes us through his impoverished childhood, instances of xenophobia, discovering his sexuality, and his love for a tragic young boy. This is a book for our moment—it’s all here: our fraught political moment, immigration, the opioid epidemic, the difficult inheritance of Vietnam. Gorgeous, destroying, and unforgettable. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

The Warlow Experiment: A Novel by Alix Nathan - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780385545334
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Doubleday - August 20th, 2019

Wealthy landowner and citizen scientist, Herbert Powyss, enthusiastically launches an experiment involving human isolation in the last years of the 18th century. Many unintended consequences result in this fascinating and superbly conceived work of historical fiction. Nathan's stylistic expertise and attention to detail chillingly renders the darkness of the endeavor. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Factory by Hiroko Oyamada - Book Review

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By Hiroko Oyamada, David Boyd (Translator)
ISBN: 9780811228855
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - October 29th, 2019

No one knows what is made at the factory. No one knows where it begins or ends. Three workers don't know why they proofread texts, shred documents, or study moss at the factory. Odd black birds live near a river on factory property. It's very hard to keep track of time at the factory. It's even harder to remember who you are. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare

Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781984822178
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Published: Hogarth - April 16th, 2019

The attraction of Connell and Marianne is like the positive and negative ends of an electrical circuit. Their connection provides a brilliant flash of light, but never enough illumination to generate the prospect of a life together. This is a painfully honest contemporary love story by an author who refuses to compromise her central characters' pragmatism with the injection of artificial sentimentality or conventional romantic tropes. A very impressive literary accomplishment by a writer to watch closely. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780385413909
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Published: Anchor - May 1990

A black farmer destroys his home and livestock and leaves the land where he has lived his entire life. The incident triggers a mass exodus of African American inhabitants in a state in the South. This unusual and powerfully effective story of racial subjugation, reminiscent of William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust, is written with an unerring perception for both white and black sensibilities. A rediscovered masterwork in the canon of Southern literature. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Mysteries Make Great Beach Reads

So imagine you are reclining in your lounger being shaded by a palm tree with the white sand, blue sky, turquoise ocean, a vista stretching out in front of you. In one hand you have a Mai Tai with one of those paper umbrellas in it. What could possibly be missing from the other? Well, a fast paced novel with murder and intrigue of course! 


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