WCBE

Literature

Literature

Ren Warom's Escapology is a loud book. It thumps and howls and whistles and squirms. It's a twitchy thing — won't sit still for a second. It makes no sense sometimes. It's derivative and odd, big and intimate at the same time, clunky and uneven and trope-heavy and manages to be both 2016 post-genre original and totally late '80s cyberpunk samizdat page to page, sometimes line to line.

Science fiction is known for speculating on technology, but it's always been just as passionate about politics. From Philip K.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin returns to fairy tale land with a couple of modern-day kids in author Sarah Mlynowski’s If the Shoe Fits

Title: If the Shoe Fits (Whatever After #2)

Author: Sarah Mlynowski

Runtime: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Publisher: Scholastic Audio

AISN: B00HZ7GAIW

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

What is it with poets and birds? Edgar Allan Poe had his raven. Ted Hughes had his crow. Wallace Stevens his blackbird. Keats his nightingale. Helen MacDonald her hawk. For Emily Dickinson, hope was the thing with feathers.

'Possession' Charts The Tangled Paths Of Art And Antiquities

Jun 1, 2016

"Antiquities have rough afterlives."

The Koh i Noor diamond is back in the news this spring, including a telling quote about it from 2010, when Prime Minister David Cameron explained his decision not to return the diamond: "If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty."

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin hits the campaign trail with Matthew S. Hiley’s outrageous political farce The Candidates.

Title: The Candidates

Author: Matthew S. Hiley

Pages: 193

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press

ISBN: 978-1626342682

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

"Too Tough to Die." Those words are tattooed on Cass Neary, the antihero of Elizabeth Hand's crime-novel series that began with Generation Loss and continued with Available Dark and the new Hard Light. Where those words are inked — and why Cass chose to put them there — is one of the many jagged, tragic details that make the series so compelling: In the early '80s, at the age of 23, Cass was stabbed and raped. Her tattoo covers the scar she incurred that night — and in a perverse way, it also proudly tags it. (Not that she dwells on it.)

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin packs her bags for an emotional summer at the beach with The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews.

Title: The Weekenders

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Pages: 409

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 978-1250065940

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

Sherman Alexie's new children's book stars Thunder Boy Smith, a little boy who was named after his dad. "People call him Big Thunder," the boy says of his father. "That nickname is a storm filling up the sky. People call me Little Thunder. That nickname makes me sound like a burp or a fart." Over the course of Thunder Boy Jr., the boy emerges from his dad's shadow to become his own person.

A young schoolteacher named Adina arrives at her apartment in an unnamed Romanian town. She immediately notices an odd detail: A fox-fur hearth rug she has owned for years has had its tail cut off. She next comes home to discover a hind leg severed from the pelt, and once more to find another leg removed. What in the world? In this particular world no detail is without meaning, and all meanings are potentially lethal. It is the late 1980s, in the Panopticon security state of Nicolae Ceausescu, and the mutilated rug convinces Adina that Big Brother is closing in on her.

South Korean author Han Kang was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for fiction for her dark novel The Vegetarian at a London ceremony on Monday.

The novel, Han's first to be translated into English, is about a woman who decides to stop eating meat and wants to become a tree. Her decision has devastating consequences and raises concerns among family members that she is mentally ill.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin spends a holiday weekend on the case with Claire Malloy in Pride v. Prejudice by Joan Hess

Title: Pride v. Prejudice (Claire Malloy Mysteries #20)

Author: Joan Hess

Pages: 306

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

ISBN: 978-1250081179

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

'People Want These Stories': Women Win Big At The Nebula Awards

May 16, 2016

The wave of conversation about diversity and representation in fiction is about to crest again: Women swept this year's Nebula Awards, handed out this past weekend in Chicago.

On the second floor of an old Bavarian palace in Munich, Germany, there's a library with high ceilings, a distinctly bookish smell and one of the world's most extensive collections of Latin texts. About 20 researchers from all over the world work in small offices around the room.

They're laboring on a comprehensive Latin dictionary that's been in progress since 1894. The most recently published volume contained all the words beginning with the letter P. That was back in 2010.

The best opening sentence in the history of modern science fiction belongs to William Gibson. And with his new novel, Central Station, Lavie Tidhar now holds the title for best opening paragraph:

In Sarah Parrish's second-grade classroom, the colors are loud, but the kids are quiet.

It's Thursday morning. Her students sit at their desks, reading to themselves. Books about Ramona and Junie B. Jones. Mystery books, fantasy books ...

Marisa Sotelino has just finished Horse Diaries #3: Koda. She grins when asked about it, showing a mouthful of light green braces.

"It's interesting to see other people, or animals' point of view," she explains, "because, well, you can't be a different person."

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin stalks the hottest boy band in the audio edition of Goldy Moldavsky’s young adult adventure Kill the Boy Band.

Title: Kill the Boy Band

Author: Goldy Moldavsky

Runtime: 6 hours, 54 minutes

Publisher: Scholastic Audio

AISN: B01BG14E1W

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

This time 50 years ago, "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas was the No. 1 song in the U.S. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann was the New York Times best-selling novel. The Vietnam War was intensifying. The Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum. Kauai King was en route to win the 92nd Kentucky Derby.

Growing up Muslim in Canada had its challenges for Zarqa Nawaz, starting with school lunch. Her mother insisted on sending Nawaz off with home-cooked chicken that smelled of cumin, when all she wanted was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, like all the other kids. Years later, Nawaz has turned a lifetime of culture clashes into a career as a writer and filmmaker. In her work, she uses humor to humanize a religion she loves, but others fear.

'The Queue' Carries On A Dystopian Lineage

May 5, 2016

In an unspecified Middle Eastern city, a doctor is drawn to and troubled by a particular patient file. The file documents the injuries of a man named Yehya, sustained after a skirmish called the Disgraceful Events. Not only are the events shrouded in mystery; Yehya himself does not know who shot him. And the doctor would have already removed the bullet, except for the fact that in that aftermath of the Disgraceful Events, the government has made it illegal to do so without a certain permit. Yehya must get that permit so the doctor can do the surgery.

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