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Ma writes the apocalypse cooler, sharper, and fresher than anyone else I've read. As a mysterious fever consumes the world and New York City collapses around her, a young woman, held together by her daily habits, continues clocking in at her dull office job. About customs, corporations, immigration, consumerism, love, memory, and the end of the world, this story mesmerizes. It filled me with a spinning sort of recognition, the kind you get from recurrent jolts of déjà vu. Repetition, it turns out, is hard to break, even after death. ~ Reviewed by Cathy Taylor
A thrilling, touching adventure that follows one remarkable dog's journey back to her beloved owner. War veteran Dirck Hansen suffers from severe PTSD and is on the verge of self-destruction when he meets Chauncey, a service dog who eases his anxiety and offers him the potential for healing. With Chauncey by his side, Dirck's life regains normalcy, but a fateful day at the park alters the course of their bond. As Dirck begins a desperate search for his lost dog, Chauncey sets out on her own adventure through New England wilderness and cold city streets. Beautifully written and powerfully told, this story speaks to the unshakeable, enduring bond between man and dog. Fans of The Call of the Wild and The Incredible Journey will love this book! ~ Reviewed by Cathy Taylor
Helen DeWitt's curiosity is bottomless. Linguistics, statistics, the commodification of art and intellect--her interests are matched by writing so good it'll knock around your brain for weeks. Her stories are lethally hilarious. Her characters are absurd and true, searching for sanity in a mad world. There may be no room for pure genius in a humdrum, capitalist world, but this book, like its author, is defiantly brilliant. ~ Reviewed by Cathy Taylor
I’m not going to say a lot about this punch of a memoir, because I firmly believe you should just read it. The writing is so immediate and cutting that describing it feels like sanding down its edges. Trauma ricochets through the author’s family line like a loose bullet. Her father was evil, her mother careless, her relationships with men self-destructive. She writes of her own mental illness, the ways and reasons she feels crazy. Searing & urgent, her story, as she says, is sacred; it has purpose and meaning beyond her own life. It is alive, pulsing, a powerful, transformational force that moves through her. It is not, as she says, a way of transcending pain, but of reconciling with it. She doesn’t forgive trauma, but she transubstantiates it. ~ Reviewed by Cathy Taylor
The tender, compassionate way Halliday tells her characters’ stories is the gentle, driving force of this book. Her novel is composed of two seemingly unrelated segments. In the first, a young woman, restlessly going through the motions of her life, has a chance encounter with distinguished author on a park bench. Despite the wide gulf between their ages, they enter into a sweet, generous love affair. The novel’s second part shifts character, time, and place to 2008, in which an Iraqi-American man has been detained in a holding room at Heathrow Airport. His situation may seem much different from the young woman’s, but his concerns dovetail hers: the stronghold of time and the problem of choice, which, like a pill, has side effects. A truly lovely and expansive book, beautifully told. ~ Reviewed by Cathy Taylor