Pilar has everything a young Cuban woman could want: she’s the most beautiful and talented performer at a luxe resort; she’s newly married to Omar Silva, Cuba’s star baseball player; and her uncle is one of the most prominent businessmen in the country. But she wants more. She dreams of a life outside of Cuba, in “El Norte,” and she will do anything to get there.
When she was out in the world, the world as it had been Before, she hadn’t known how free she was. She was free to marry her lover, Luke, and they were free to have a daughter together. She was free to hold down a job, to have money of her own, to wear whatever she liked and go wherever she wanted whenever she pleased.
Set in fictional Maycomb County in 1930s Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated by young Scout Finch, who is generally more interested in finding treasures and scrapping with her brother, Jem, than in the Great Depression or Jim Crow. But tension in the Deep South is unavoidable, especially when your dad is Mr. Renaissance Man himself. Atticus Finch is representing Tom Robinson, a black man accused of sexual assault by an impoverished white girl. Scout is young, but already she struggles with biases inherited from members of this insular community. As she observes the tumult caused by the trial, and as she deals with her own demons, Scout learns that people aren’t always as they appear.
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.
The Train of Small Mercies follows one day in the lives of six people who encounter the funeral train of Robert F. Kennedy as it travels from New York to Washington, DC.
The Bigtrees are the proud, indebted owners of Swamplandia!, a macabre and thrilling theme park devoted to “Seths”—their nickname for alligators. But when their star wrestler Hilola dies and a rival theme park, the World of Darkness, opens nearby, they hemorrhage customers.
Thirteen-year-old Ava is stricken with grief at the loss of her mother, the famous alligator wrestler Hilola Bigtree. Hilola died not from an aggressive gator attack but from cancer, and Ava finds herself adrift. She’s not the only one. Her father, known as the Chief; her seventeen-year-old brother Kiwi; and her sixteen-year-old sister Osceola (Ossie) also break and slide apart.
Title: Gone Girl Author: Gillian Flynn ISBN: 9780307588364 Pages: 432 Release date: June 5, 2012 Publisher: Crown Genre: Thriller Format: Ebook Source: […]
Title: Pandemonium Author: Lauren Oliver Series: Delirium, #2 ISBN: 9780061978067 Pages: 384 Release date: March 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Genre: Dystopian fiction; young […]
This month, I head out for my next IRP trip: Tanzania! Naturally, my mind first turns to books about or from Tanzania. As I learned on my recent trip to Zambia, there are many fine books that I’m sure I won’t discover until I set foot in the country. But these titles should help me prepare for the trip. Unlike my research for Zambia, I’ve found a ton of interesting books from and about Tanzania. First, I’m looking at six novels that […]
I am currently traveling in Zambia for work. Before I left, I did what I always do: searched for seminal works of literature about the country or by authors representing the country. I was quite surprised that Zambia remains a relatively unexplored country in literature. (Perhaps the world is waiting for my bestselling thriller about journalists in Zambia!) But I did find a few titles that are worth sharing, if you’re itching to read about Zambia—either as an armchair traveler, or in […]
I’ve thought for a while now that I might incorporate beer into my reviews more. But how to do it? I feel […]
I recently met Jennifer 8. Lee at a journalism conference. Lee is a reporter who launched Plympton, a digital publisher of serial fiction, with co-founder Yael Goldstein Love. In predicting publishing’s future, Lee and Love have looked to the past and drawn inspiration from serialized authors such as Dickens, Flaubert and Conrad.
I recently returned from a two-week trip to India. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to write a few articles about my time there, but suffice to say it is a rich, complex, and utterly beautiful country.