Displaying articles for: July 2014

Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

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Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

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The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

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Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

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Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.

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Secret Lives of the Tsars

Michael Farquhar moves from the scandals of Great Britain's royal history to the thrillingly excessive  story of Russia's Romanov dynasty.  From Peter the Great through Catherine II (and yes, her lovers) to Rasputin and the fate of Nicholas and Alexandra, this is history as pure diversion.

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Invisible Love

Throughout the admirably sentimental short stories of France's Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, the keyword is amour. Schmitt's beaus and belles adore kidnapped children, unrequited lovers, and loyal hounds, in stories which touch the heart and rouse the spirit.

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Crystal Eaters

In a village where the number of crystals one is born with determines lifespan, a family forages for the stones (and fortitude) they need to stay alive. Shane Jones' surreal modern fantasy recalls the work of Neil Gaiman or Mercedes Lackey, recast in a land of trailer parks and urban sprawl.

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Things That Are

Amy Leach's pristine essays tackle bodies big and small. From the universe's great celestial constellations to the modest lives of donkeys and sea cucumbers, each chapter's subject comes to life via Leach's inquisitive, inspiring curiosity.

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Three Light-Years

This translation from Italian of Andrea Canobbio's delicate, mature romance between two doctors (and longtime friends) who fall in love despite impossible circumstances sails on delicate, entrancing prose. Call it an episode of Gray's Anatomy directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

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The Rhesus Chart

And now for something completely different: the next tale in Charles Stross' acclaimed Laundry Files series (in which a covert office protects Britain from paranormal danger) finds the team battling zombie leeches that have inhabited the staff of a local bank. Bloodsucking parasites working in high finance? Stranger things have happened.

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Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness

Once upon a time, the creator of "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Princess and the Pea" came of age in Denmark before changing Europe and soon the world with his wondrous and elaborate fairy tales. Paul Binding here tells us a story of spritely imagination with scholarly skill.

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The Interior Circuit

Francisco Goldman roams his deceased wife's hometown of Mexico City in search of closure, and finds a capital brimming with dirty politics, drug cartel empires, and inspiring student protests.  The eyewitness tour through Distrito Federal packs the vigor of a young Norman Mailer or Joan Didion.

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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

An Indian-American photographer returns home to New Mexico, to care for her ailing father and absolve sins and specters of the past. This pungently funny Discover Great New Writers selection squares a candid, observant lens on family ties.

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July 26: On this day in 1602 "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke" was entered in the Stationers' Register by printer James Robertes.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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