The Stranger by Albert Camus - Book Review

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The Stranger (Vintage International) By Albert Camus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679720201
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Published: Vintage - March 13th, 1989

The Stranger does a very good job of placing the reader in a position where they're empathizing heavily with the suffering of people ordinarily cast as the "villains" of society. Meursault is accurately characterized as a psychopath—a man who really bears no sense of empathy or interpersonal remorse. Yet Camus does a very fine job of showing that those who dismiss him on these grounds are the ones in the wrong. A major advocate against the death penalty during his time, Camus makes clear the source of his distaste, precisely outlining why the supposedly "evil" ought be given the same consideration we afford others and allowed life. ~ Reviewed by David Gray-Smith

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - Book Review

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A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393341768
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 21st, 2019

Though infamous, there is more to this book than violence. There is beauty and humor, philosophy and music. Burgess has invented a completely original vernacular, lyrical and fascinating, whether dealing with cruelty, Beethoven, or fashion. As good (if not better) than its film adaptation. ~ Reviewed by Nora Heffernan-Smith

Demon Copperhead: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780063251922
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - October 18th, 2022

Kingsolver has outdone herself with this one. This is an epic telling of all the big and smallness of Child Services and the institutional systems and the beginnings of the opioid crisis in rural America of the 1980s. I love the cadence of this book, I grew up near enough to Appalachia to hear the resonate "r"s and hear the snap of "pop" in this novel. And while this book is a retelling of David Copperfield and Kingsolver doesn't stint on pathos, ugliness, humor or humanness, I heard the tones of Twain's Huck Finn underneath it all. Epic! ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan

Dark Earth: A Novel by Rebecca Stott - Book Review

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Dark Earth: A Novel By Rebecca Stott Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812989113
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Published: Random House - July 19th, 2022

Stott takes on a journey to a devastated landscape, London deserted and in ruins centuries after the Roman Legions have left. Blending mythology and folklore (with current archaeological data) Blue and Isla struggle to survive their exile, their father "the Great Smith '' and their own talents. One is a seer and one a smith that could challenge their father, the clan, and their own fears. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan

Avalon: A novel by Nell Zink - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780593534892
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Published: Knopf - May 24th, 2022

A book both at once the next "Great Californian Novel" and a quaint low-stakes coming of age love story. Or possibly enough a middle ground of both that it's neither. Open it up + read the first handful of pages. It's not really gonna make any sense (the book begins at the end of the story), but pay no mind to sensicality; why you should pick this up lies in its prose. Zink writes very strangely, and that's ½ the appeal. While it certainly "transports you to another world" & all that crap novels like doing, it's more eager to beguile you with the structure of the language itself. This book is marvelously playful with its language and is quite possibly the most fun I've had staring at symbols on paper all year! ~ Reviewed by David Gray-Smith

We Won't Be Here Tomorrow: And Other Stories by Margaret Killjoy - Book Review

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We Won't Be Here Tomorrow: And Other Stories By Margaret Killjoy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849354752
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 3-7 Business Days
Published: AK Press - September 20th, 2022

I'm not one for SciFi (which is the common theme of these stories) but I really enjoyed this book. Margaret Killjoy is a trans woman who has written several books. She also runs a podcast on youtube and other platforms where I really enjoy her wit, which shows in her writing. What drew me to this book was the beautiful cover art, along with the summary on the back which reads:
“Spaceships, man-eating lesbian mermaids, swords, spears, demons, ghouls, thieves, hitchhikers, and life in the margins. Margaret Killjoy’s stories have appeared for years in the science fiction and fantasy magazines both major and indie. Here, we have collected the best previously published work along with brand new material. Ranging in theme and tone, these imaginative tales bring the reader on a wild and moving ride. They’ll encounter a hacker who programs drones to troll CEOs into quitting; a group of LARPers who decide to live as orcs in the burned forests of Oregon; queer, teen love in a death cult; the terraforming of a climate-changed Earth; polyamorous love on an anarchist tea farm during the apocalypse; and much more. Killjoy writes fearless, mind-expanding fiction that is redefining the genre.”
This collection of short stories was so enjoyable, I couldn’t put it down. It has the perfect mixture of Sci-Fi, Horror, Queer Romance, and more. I mean… Man-eating lesbian mermaids?? Count me in! If you like wit, drama, or anything really.. I can assure you this book has it all. This book will be shelved in our Fiction section but I would also recommend it to a MATURE young adult. ~ Reviewed by Ashley Newberg


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