Happy Samhain!

With tomorrow in mind, I was thinking today back over books we reviewed this year that fulfill my seasonal need for a "chilling" read.  And one stands out: the appropriately titled White is For Witching  by Helen Oyeyemi.


The story is hard to summarize -- but briefly, the story contains a haunted house, a cursed family, an obsession with eating dirt, fear of immigrants, and the mythic Afro-Carribbean figure of the soucouyant, a sort of psychic vampire.  Call it post-colonial gothic, maybe.  In any case,  I found it rich, compelling, and pretty scary.


Our reviewer, Amelia Atlas, had this to say about Oyeyemi's prose:


"Oyeyemi writes with a lyricism that begs to be noticed. Her characters, like their author, are image makers. As a narrator, Eliot takes pains to catch the world with the clarity it demands. "I can only explain it in comparison to something mundane," he practically apologizes when trying to describe the presence of his mother's phantom. The novel has an almost aggressive poetry, going to far as to play formal games with where the words fall on the page -- a word will appear surrounded by blank space, forming the end of one sentence while beginning the next. It's as if even the text itself were haunted by absence."


And if that isn't to your liking on this Halloween weekend, then I recommend a classic.



April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.