What We’re Reading This Week

jenng

JENN G

remains of the dayThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day has been on my to-read list for a while–practically everyone I know has raved about it–so I finally picked it up the other day. Narrated by a mid-century British butler who is the very definition of the word restraint, the book launches into a stuffy, mildly humorous discourse on what exactly makes a butler “great.” I spent the first twenty pages scratching my head; was this what this book would be about? Was I reading revisionist Wodehouse, sans Bertie Wooster’s hijincks? Why was everyone raving?

“Then, suddenly, our protagonist subtly shifts gears, and the topic becomes his father–who was a butler before him–and the topic of butlery suddenly opens up into a heartbreaking ode to the humble dignity of a man whose worthiness and “greatness” were inextricably bound to the idea of service. At which point I wiped my eyes, apologized to the narrator for ever doubting him, and read for the next four hours straight. And while I admire the grace of Ishiguro’s prose, and the cleverness, what seems the most magical to me right now is the way he infuses the coldest language with warmth.” You can find copies of The Remains of the Day on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.

STARMAN

tigermanTigerman by Nick Harkaway

“Harkaway’s stories always have a surreal bent to them. I went into Tigerman blind, knowing nothing about the plot, because I trusted Harkaway so much after reading Angelmaker and The Gone-Away World. The book explores the relationship between an ex-soldier and an indigenous child who lives on the pacific island where the soldier had previously been stationed. The surreal part of the story comes in with the setting – the UN is about to blow up the island, due to mutating, polluted bacteria and vegetation caused by a chemical plant gone haywire. The boy and the ex-soldier find their commonalities through comic books, and when the ex-soldier asks the boy to design him a superhero costume, he wears it out and quickly becomes an accidental vigilante. For anyone who likes pop-culture heavy novels like Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One or Soon I will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman.” You can find copies of Tigerman on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Tigerman comes out in paperback June 23rd. Pre-order now!

CRISTINA

invasion of the tearlingThe Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

“Waiting a year for this new installment was painful but worth it. I could not put it down. So many of the questions I was left with after finishing The Queen of the Tearling were answered. Be ready for worldbuilding, galore. Out June 9th.” Copies of The Invasion of the Tearling hit the shelves on June 9th. Pre-order now!

PATRICK

first measures of the coming insurrectionFirst Measures of the Coming Insurrection by Kamo

“When I first read The Coming Insurrection, one sentence in particular stuck with me. It gave me hope, for humanity and myself, at a time I really needed it. ‘An isolated being who holds fast to a truth will inevitably meet others like her.’

First Measures of the Coming Insurrection keeps that hope alive. To describe it simply as a guide to maintaining revolutionary change after the rush of initial revolt subsides, which it has done well as far as I’ve read, would be a disservice to the massive reserve of optimism underlying it. It is concealed by anger at and total distrust in every governmental and financial institution in existence, but it is there. There’s still hope for “a new conception of life, a new tendency to joy.” It is this hope that makes First Measures a great book. It’s this hope that reminds us that revolution is right.” You can find copies of First Measures of the Coming Insurrection on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.

4 thoughts on “What We’re Reading This Week

  1. I definitely want to read The Remains of the Day. After resisting Kazuo Ishiguro for most of my time at university, I was given a short story of his (A Village After Dark) as a reference point for editing one of my own short stories, and since then I have got a bit obsessed. I would recommend Never Let Me Go. It is a really strange book that kind of defies the sort of beat the man attitude typical of dystopian-type fiction.

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