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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781635577808
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Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 28th, 2021

Wow, this one was an unexpected gem! Our story follows a man called Piranesi who lives in a labyrinth of a house, with halls upon halls and haunting statues and entire seas. He spends his days exploring the house- monitoring the tides and mapping the stars, charting each hall and unearthing the infinite wonders inside. This story is like a puzzle box, and bit by bit we learn more and more about Piranesi’s otherworldly home and how it came to be.
Reading this book gave me the same feelings as reading Harry Potter as a child- filled with warmth, wonder, and magic. Finishing it felt like waking from a spectral dream that you just want to close your eyes and return to. I’ve never read anything like it before, and this charming and quirky little book has earned a place among my most memorable and special reads. ~ Reviewed by Madison Gallup

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez - Book Review

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The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593134092
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Published: Hogarth - February 1st, 2022

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is a collection of short stories combining sociopolitical issues with body horror in narratives that walk the line between order and the utterly unhinged. Each story in this equally speculative and ambiguous exploration of Argentine culture and the human body will leave the reader in a state of visceral unease and with a lingering sense of discomfort. This is a collection of stories unlike anything you’ve read before. ~ Reviewed by Madison Gallup

Fault Lines: A Novel by Emily Itami - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780063099807
Published: Custom House - September 7th, 2021

This wonderful and immersive character study truly is Sally Rooney meets Murakami. Written in exquisite detail, Itami takes us to the vibrant city that is modern Tokyo where we meet Mizuki- an unsatisfied woman living a seemingly perfect life as a Japanese housewife. Once she meets the charming and successful restaurateur Kiyoshi one rainy evening, the perfectly crafted existence Mizuki has created for herself and her family flips upside down. Fault Lines is a delightful journey from start to finish of one woman’s search for freedom and desire to rediscover the city and life she once led. I loved the vividness with which Itami described the allure and intrigue of Tokyo, and I loved the complex characters that jumped off the page. A phenomenal debut! ~ Reviewed by Madison Gallup

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250817860
Published: Metropolitan Books - November 9th, 2021

My Body is an empowered collection of essays about Emily’s personal experiences in the modeling industry and how the commodification of her body has affected her as a woman in a society dominated by powerful men. These essays did a wonderful job exploring female power and sexuality, and the ways that our bodies can be taken advantage of in both obvious and subtle ways. Emily discusses the abuse and mistreatment that has impacted her as a model and as a woman, and emphasizes everything that she had to sacrifice for her career- including the rights to her own body. ~ Reviewed by Madison Gallup

Eileen: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh - Book Review

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Eileen: A Novel By Ottessa Moshfegh Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128755
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Published: Penguin Books - August 16th, 2016

Eileen is a ferociously intelligent character study about a repugnant young woman. Narrated by Eileen herself in her later years, our story follows the few days leading up to a particular Christmas Eve in the ‘60s when Eileen and an unexpected accomplice had committed a horrid crime. The strength of this novel lies in Moshfegh's ability to create such a disturbed, vile, and yet wildly human antihero that is equally compelling and distasteful. Being in Eileen’s twisted mind made my stomach churn, and yet I couldn’t look away. ~ Reviewed by Madison Gallup

The Painted Veil (Vintage International) by W. Somerset Maugham - Book Review

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The Painted Veil (Vintage International) By W. Somerset Maugham Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400034215
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - February 10th, 2004

This exceptional classic tale tells the story of Kitty, a beautiful and vain middle-class woman whose main objective in life is to marry wealthy and live prosperously. After years of searching for the ideal partner, Kitty settles for Walter- a bacteriologist working in Hong Kong. After being caught mid-affair with another man, Kitty follows her husband to the epicenter of the cholera epidemic where everything Kitty thought she knew about the world is turned upside down as she confronts this new reality. The Painted Veil is a masterful and heartbreaking character study about betrayal, human resilience, and the capacity for growth- a remarkable piece of literature. ~ Reviewed by Madison Gallup


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