The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
If you expect a revisionist first person account of The Iliad and The Odyssey as delivered by Queen Penelope’s deceased spirit interjected with the chorus of Odysseus’ disgraced maids – also deceased [murdered] – to be wry and brash, rejoice. It feels like Atwood deliberately subverted the epic lyricism of her sources with intimate, reflective prose sprinkled with the occasional verse. It’s as compact and potent as good moonshine, kick awaiting. You can find copies of The Penelopiad on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
It’s the final week of classes at UT and even though I should be studying for exams and preparing presentations, I can’t tear myself away from Celeste Ng’s forthcoming novel, Little Fires Everywhere. Ng follows up her 2014 debut Everything I Never Told You with the story of suburban unrest in the tight knit community of Shaker Heights brought about by the arrival of an eccentric mother-daughter duo and the controversial adoption of a Chinese American baby. Ng’s novel is part commentary on race relations and class difference; part coming of age tale full of teen angst. But it’s also a story about motherhood, secrets, and the travails of making the transition into adulthood. The sprawling cast of Little Fires Everywhere gives us a complete picture of this utopic community in the throes of change. Witty. Smart. Full of heart and 90’s nostalgia. I can’t get enough of Celeste Ng! You can soon find copies of Little Fires Everywhere on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
The Teeth of the Comb by Osama Alomar
This week I’m obsessed with Alomar’s flash fiction collection. Fifty pages in and I must’ve read about as many stories, if not more. Alomar, a Syrian immigrant, shifts gears every story. Some of his stories are laugh out loud funny, some are strange and unsettling, and some are tragically devastating. This just hit the shelves this month and I’m glad I took a chance on it because there’s nothing like it. You can find copies of The Teeth of the Comb on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Oh, but how I have waited for this book’s release. So much has changed since this trilogy’s beginning. Where A Court of Thorns and Roses was the story of the protagonist Feyre’s personal fight for survival and first love in a beautiful but deadly fae world, now she’s got a great deal of experience under her belt and is preparing to protect her home, and humanity, from an otherworldly enemy who threatens to enslave them all. My absolute favorite part of this trilogy is how drastically each character grows and changes over the course of the story. It’s truly a lesson in perspective where anyone can be a villain — or hero — depending on your perspective. I’m a sucker for gray characters, and this trilogy’s full of them. It’s full of gorgeous and magical elf-like faerie people, too, which I’m certainly not opposed to. You can find copies of A Court of Wings and Ruin on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.