Was Gregor Mendel a genius before his time, or just a lucky gardener? How did his work shape the future of science?
Sillitoe’s short stories keenly chronicle the lives of ordinary working-class men and boys.
A devoted daughter searches for her eccentric mother in this inventive, sidesplittingly funny novel.
There are some books that are so good, as soon as you finish reading you’re ready to tell the world exactly what you loved about it; the words have been forming in your mind the whole time.
I Am Forbidden may not be one of those books.
It’s a book that you read obsessively—it takes over your thoughts—and quickly—because you have to know what happens, you have to stay with these characters. Yet when you put it down, you don’t know how to explain the book, much less why you loved it.
Much is said about plot in writing. Without plot, you don’t have a book… right?
That’s why, at first glance, A Visit from the Goon Squad appears to be a series of interconnected short stories. There is no overarching plot, no event or circumstances that drive the characters through the narrative, which switches back on itself, going into the past and then the future over the course of four decades. In books like The Train of Small Mercies, the characters never meet. But the same event—the death of RFK—draws them together in theme and event if not in circumstance, and so their arcs mirror each other.
Bellis Coldwine is unhappily fleeing her home in New Crobuzon for a colony across the world. Bellis, a cold, competent linguist, soon finders herself impressed by pirates and dropped onto the floating city of Armada.
Doomsday Book tells the story of young Kivrin, an undergraduate at Oxford, who wants to travel back in time. Such technology is typically forbidden to undergrads, and doubly so for the generous and uncharted fourteenth century. But she manages to finagle a trip and heads back to 1320 for the chance at some first-hand historical reporting. Back in 2054, things start falling apart as soon as Kivin is gone.
The Northmen have invaded Angland. The northernmost territory of the Union, a kingdom similar to Europe (or perhaps just a larger England), Angland has served as a tenuous barrier between the civilized Union and the wild tribes of the North, now held loosely under the control of Bethod, their self-proclaimed King.