Arizona Moon: A Novel of Vietnam by J. M. Graham
Arizona Moon by J.M. Graham came out this past October and is on the shelves now. I read it as an Advanced Reader Copy and am going through it again. It’s a harrowing tale of war set during the Vietnam Conflict; 1967 or so…. It’s told from the viewpoints of two American and one Vietnamese soldiers engaged in a deadly cat and mouse chase in what American grunts called the Arizona Valley. Arizona Moon is a great war novel that pulls no punches…ugliness and beauty abounds on all sides… You can find copies of Arizona Moon on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson’s upcoming novel, New York 2140, will easily make my top ten books of 2017. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned with our current environmental issues and climate change. To be honest, the plausibility of the scenario makes this SF novel one of the scariest books I’ve read recently. As might be gathered from the title, the book is set in New York City in 2140. I would say that this dystopian apocalypse, which takes place after what Robinson calls the First Pulse and the Second Pulse — meltings of the polar ice caps enough to raise the sea level fifty feet — is an epic of sorts. It’s not only the plausibility that makes New York 2140 such a compelling read. Robinson narrates through a few different voices/POVs, both male and female, and so nicely disparate and differentiated. While I have to read this book a little at a time because it can be a lot to absorb and ponder, I pick it up eagerly because the characters are great and the plot moves along quickly. Kim Stanley Robinson is a skilled storyteller and an important voice in environemtal issues and one of the outstanding SF writers of our time. I’m very much looking forward to putting this one into customers’ hands when I’m asked for recommendations! You can find copies of New York 2140 on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
It’s in the title. Why should anyone wait for equality? MLK’s writing about the pivotal moments of civil rights action in 1963 is direct, yet philosophical about non-violent protest. It’s a guide on how to resist and how to change minds. At a quarter of the way in, I’m captivated both by the man of action and the man as a writer. You can find copies of Why We Can’t Wait on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
This week, and by week I mean mostly Monday, I am reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This YA fantasy novel tells the tale of six outcasts from the slums of Ketterdam shoved together for an impossible mission to save the world. Interested yet? It’s full of magic, humor, romance, tension, and action. I rarely find a book that renders me physically unable to put it down. Each chapter draws you in deeper until you feel like you are there with the characters. You can feel their hearts racing and the cold sweat of fear on their necks. Will they save the world? Who will betray whom? You can’t stop reading until you know. I highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers, and anyone who is looking to be completely swallowed by a story. If you like it, check out Bardugo’s sequel, The Crooked Kingdom. You can find copies of Six of Crows on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
It should come as no surprise that I’ve hopped on the Exit West bandwagon along with all of the other excited booksellers at BookPeople. Surrounded by so much encouragement and so many recommendations, I had to pick it up, and the first sentence immediately drew me in: “In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, a young man met a young woman in a classroom and did not speak to her.” Not quite halfway through, I’m enjoying it so far. It’s subtle and a little bit mysterious, and I know the building tension is very close to snapping. While I don’t want to rush this beautiful read, I know I won’t be able to help myself. You can find copies of Exit West on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.