Category Archives: Fiction


Vinland is the story of a man who had a magnificent adventure when he was a boy, and lived and worked and dreamed in its shadow all the rest of his life. This book is set in eleventh-century Orkney, and … Continue reading

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A Kind of Intimacy

Like most of the known universe, I read (and enjoyed!) Gone Girl. But I think Jenn Ashworth’s A Kind of Intimacy is a better dark, disturbing sort of book. Gone Girl was the portrait of two very unpleasant personalities twining around … Continue reading

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American War

Omar El Akkad’s debut novel is an unsettling and ingenious imaging of a U.S. Civil War in the late 21st century. The story follows the life of Sarat Chestnutt, born near the Mississippi Sea in the purple state of Louisiana. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 7 Comments

The Heirs of Columbus

By this time, I’ve read more than a handful of Native American novels, several of them from the Native American Renaissance during the 1960s. There’s a thematic similarity to the ones I’ve read from that time period: they are often … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 9 Comments

Await Your Reply

I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I picked it up. I went through nearly a decade believing that Dan Chaon wrote horror novels, and then I saw that he’d won a Pushcart Prize and had been … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments


YOU GUYS. I read Ivanhoe and it was the most amazing thing. Walter Scott was extremely popular in his day and had legions of adoring fans and was invited to a private dinner by the Prince Regent so they could … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 31 Comments

The Water Knife

It took me a while to get into this book by Paolo Bacigalupi. The story follows three separate characters, each one dealing with a different aspect of the calamitous water shortages in the southwestern U.S. Angel is a “water knife,” … Continue reading

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Who Could That Be at This Hour?

I love Lemony Snicket’s books. I devoured the Series of Unfortunate Events, and thanks to a generous cousin, I even own one of the books in French, which is as delightful as you might imagine. Their combination of gloom and … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction | 4 Comments

Redemption in Indigo

Karen Lord’s debut novel Redemption in Indigo is… kind of a mess, to be honest. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be, and it’s awkward in places, and I’m not crazy about the ending. But it is the most … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 2 Comments

The Core of the Sun

In the Finland of this novel by Johanna Sinisalo and translated by Lola Rogers, women are sorted during childhood into two groups: Eloi and Morlocks (named inspired by H.G. Wells). The Morlocks are the workers, free to live as they … Continue reading

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