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The Greeks had Homer. We have Madeline Miller and thank Apollo for that. Through the Goddess Circe, she gives us a front row seat to the tumultuous classical world-and to a woman realizing her power. Miller transforms myth into a story for now...and all time. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
No one writes like Rachel Kushner. She can completely immerse the reader with the simplest, clearest prose. The Mars Room is a descent into a woman’s prison-a place that with its lies, deceptions, scams and friendships is a lot like “life outside.” ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
Kif Kehlmann is a writer at the end of his typewriter ribbon when he gets a potentially life-saving offer: to act as the ghostwriter for Siegfried Heidl, a conman who has swindled governments and had billions pass through his fingers. The problem is Heidl is as cavalier with facts as he is with other people's money ... and soon the word "deadline" starts assuming a different meaning. With a Booker Prize resting on his mantelpiece, Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North) has penned a loosely autobiographical, bitterly satirical tour de force perfectly attuned to our "fake news" times. First Person leaves the reader exhausted by both laughter and anger. Be careful when handling: This novel draws blood. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
Melmoth is a spirit condemned to wander the earth seeking to befriend the lonely and the lost. Helen Franklin is a woman living in exile in Prague who feels its influence - and her own life starting to unravel. Cloaked in shadows and with a strong whiff of the Gothic, the author of The Essex Serpent has once again crafted a sumptuous tale that is about so much more than just keeping one awake at night. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
If you think life happens fast now, consider 1966, when both the Beatles and the Stones imploded, and teenage pop became what we now know as "rock." Savage tells the story of a year in pop culture by looking at 12 songs and using them as springboards for discussions of Vietnam, civil rights, the counterculture, and more. It's a Pandora's Box of a book, that will send anybody interested in pop culture to YouTube to recall the sights and sounds of arguably the most important year of the 20th century. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley