Whoa, I just looked at the word “February” and it looked really alien—that bonus R! We don’t pronounce it! Anyway, tangent over. 5 books this month, two featuring clockworks experts. New literary trend?
Shadow Tag, by Louise Erdrich Story about a family falling apart. Super-fast read with almost no likable protagonists. It was hard, sometimes, to invest in the story because everyone was so
Angelmaker, by Nick Harkaway Son of espionage-writer extraordinare Le Carre, Harkaway has a definite fondness for underdogs, exploring the purposes of cults good and bad, and the transformation and discovery of other inner selves (his main characters often seem to have a kind of literary MPD).
Stories by Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov Collection of Chekhov’s short stories—really startling to see how modern his interpretation of the form feels, considering he wrote mostly in the late 19th century. Lots of realism, moment description versus plotted stories, lack of morals or overarching lessons.
The Chemistry of Tears, by Peter Carey I have a perennial soft spot for books about loss and its aftermath.
Bloodlands, by Alan Glynn Okay, I started reading this Irish crime-thriller because it was what I had on hand, and well, let’s just say it’s not the MOST excellently written thing I’ve ever read. Characters aren’t gripping. Narrative is a bit muddled. And the ending is unsatisfying. We read genre for very specific reasons, and part of that is the reward of a twisty, turny plot that works out in the end. Ambiguity is best left to the literary realists.