The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud
“The concept of this book hooked me right from the start – Kamel Daoud has rewritten The Stranger, Camus’ classic existentialist novel set in Algeria, from the perspective of the Arab victims. I’m just a few pages in, and already, Daoud lyrically delivers the critiques of colonialist literature that I’ve read in literary criticism, but have never before found in fiction. One of my favorite things in the universe is when someone takes an old story and re-writes it to incorporate a larger, more diverse context, and to correct the naive misconceptions or deliberate falsehoods of the original text. Daoud also blends Camus’ spare existentialist storytelling with folktale-style lyricism influenced by the rhythms of Arabic folktales to create a unique voice and a mocking homage to Camus’ original text. Squee!” You can find copies of The Meursault Investigation on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Gnarr! by Jón Gnarr
“Misdiagnosed as mentally handicapped at a young age, Jón Gnarr grew up in Iceland with no expectation of success in any field. In defiance of social conventions, political customs, the European mental health community, and good taste, he was elected mayor of Reykjavik 38 years later. In the interim, Gnarr became a successful actor, comedian, friend of Björk, and Darth Vader impersonator. This is his first book to be released in the United States.” You can find copies of Gnarr! on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
“It’s based on the life of Beryl Markum, who lived in Africa and was a contemporary of Isak Dineson. The novel starts with her as a young girl, and describes how her family came to live in Kenya and her experience of getting married at age 16. Later the book goes into her life as one of the first female pilots in Africa, but I haven’t got to that point yet. My daughter already finished it and recommended it, so we’ll be able to discuss it together. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.” Circling the Sun comes out July 28th. Pre-order now!
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
“Oryx and Crake is a beautiful and engaging read, but it is also an enlightening and thought provoking study on modern and relevant social issues. We have come very far as a species, this book tells me. And it’s beautiful and terrifying at the same time. But how far will be too far? How much can we play God before we realize we are not infallible?” You can find copies of Oryx and Crake on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.