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Nick Mamatas - The Planetbreaker's Son
March 10, 2021 12:50 PM PST

He walks the stars embedded in the virtual dome of night and, when he tires of a world, throws a small black stone over his shoulder - and entire societies blink out of existence. The work is necessary, or so he insists. But the Planetbreaker's son has his own ideas. Meanwhile, in 'The Strange Case Of,' Mamatas gleefully blinks sentimental, shopworn ideas out of easy acceptance. 'The Twin Dragons of Sentimentality and Didacticism' explores the dangers and pleasures of Animal Rescue. But listen. That 'Ring, Ring, Ring' (and so forth) you hear is the dreaded ouija phone connecting the living with the dead. And it's for you. Of course we include our predictably unpredictable, outrageously rageous Outspoken Interview with Mamatas. Also for you.

1Q1A Nick Mamatas - The Planetbreaker's Son
March 10, 2021 12:49 PM PST
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He walks the stars embedded in the virtual dome of night and, when he tires of a world, throws a small black stone over his shoulder - and entire societies blink out of existence. The work is necessary, or so he insists. But the Planetbreaker's son has his own ideas. Meanwhile, in 'The Strange Case Of,' Mamatas gleefully blinks sentimental, shopworn ideas out of easy acceptance. 'The Twin Dragons of Sentimentality and Didacticism' explores the dangers and pleasures of Animal Rescue. But listen. That 'Ring, Ring, Ring' (and so forth) you hear is the dreaded ouija phone connecting the living with the dead. And it's for you. Of course we include our predictably unpredictable, outrageously rageous Outspoken Interview with Mamatas. Also for you.

Caryl Pagel - Out Of Nowhere Into Nothing
March 05, 2021 10:53 AM PST
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Out of Nowhere Into Nothing is a collection of sublime meditations on the unbelievable, the coincidental, and the apparitional; the ghosts—literal and figurative—that drive our deepest impulses, disturb our most precious memories, and haunt the passages of our daily lives. Often containing reflections on the art of storytelling, Caryl Pagel’s essays blend memoir, research, and reflection, and are driven by a desire to observe connections between the visual and the invisible. The narrator of Pagel’s essays explores each enigma or encounter (a football coach’s faked death, the faces of women walking, historical accounts of hallucinations, a city’s public celebration gone wrong) as an intellectual detective ascending a labyrinthine tower of clues in pursuit of a solution to an unreachable problem: always curious, and with a sense of profound wonder.

Out of Nowhere Into Nothing is a sprawling, highly associative consideration of the ways in which the observed material world recalls us to larger narrative and aesthetic truths. Interspersed with documentary-style photographs, Pagel’s first collection of prose is a radiant, obsessive investigation into the mysteries at the center of our seemingly mundane lives.

1Q1A Caryl Pagel - Out Of Nowhere Into Nothing
March 05, 2021 09:41 AM PST
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Out of Nowhere Into Nothing is a collection of sublime meditations on the unbelievable, the coincidental, and the apparitional; the ghosts—literal and figurative—that drive our deepest impulses, disturb our most precious memories, and haunt the passages of our daily lives. Often containing reflections on the art of storytelling, Caryl Pagel’s essays blend memoir, research, and reflection, and are driven by a desire to observe connections between the visual and the invisible. The narrator of Pagel’s essays explores each enigma or encounter (a football coach’s faked death, the faces of women walking, historical accounts of hallucinations, a city’s public celebration gone wrong) as an intellectual detective ascending a labyrinthine tower of clues in pursuit of a solution to an unreachable problem: always curious, and with a sense of profound wonder.

Out of Nowhere Into Nothing is a sprawling, highly associative consideration of the ways in which the observed material world recalls us to larger narrative and aesthetic truths. Interspersed with documentary-style photographs, Pagel’s first collection of prose is a radiant, obsessive investigation into the mysteries at the center of our seemingly mundane lives.

Flowers of Darkness - Tatiana de Rosnay
February 25, 2021 11:59 AM PST
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From the internationally bestselling author of Sarah's Key comes Tatiana de Rosnay's Flowers of Darkness, a riveting and emotionally intense novel, set in a near future Paris, where a woman confronts past betrayal and present mystery

Author Clarissa Katsef is struggling to write her next book. She’s just snagged a brand new artist residency in an ultra-modern apartment, with a view of all of Paris, a dream for any novelist in search of tranquility. But since moving in, she has had the feeling of being watched. Is there reason to be paranoid? Or is her distraction and discomfort the result of her husband’s recent shocking betrayal? Or is that her beloved Paris lies altered outside her windows? A city that will never be quite the same, a city with a scar at its center?

Stuck inside, in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, Clarissa enlists her beloved granddaughter in her investigation of the mysterious, high tech building even as she finds herself drawn back into the orbit of her first husband who is still the one who knows her most intimately, who shares the past grief that she has never quite let go.

Staying true to her favorite themes—the imprint of the place, the weight of secrets—de Rosnay weaves an intrigue of thrilling suspense and emotional power.

Land of Big Numbers - Te-Ping Chen
February 24, 2021 01:35 PM PST
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Land of Big numbers is ten short stories and as you know I love short stories.

The characters are from China and their stories may not be happy or necessarily fulfilling ones but they vibrate with a meaning that is uplifting in an unusual kind of way.  People striving, people, hoping, people on their way to somewhere.

They may not get there but they have journeys that are courageous, hopeful and sometimes even silly.

It is always a surprise when you realize that tales of those from thousands of miles away are tales of us as well.  I have found in MY journeys that people are pretty much the same everywhere.  It is the governments that suck.

1Q1A Te-Ping Chen - Land of Big Numbers
February 24, 2021 01:32 PM PST
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Land of Big numbers is ten short stories and as you know I love short stories.

The characters are from China and their stories may not be happy or necessarily fulfilling ones but they vibrate with a meaning that is uplifting in an unusual kind of way.  People striving, people, hoping, people on their way to somewhere.

They may not get there but they have journeys that are courageous, hopeful and sometimes even silly.

It is always a surprise when you realize that tales of those from thousands of miles away are tales of us as well.  I have found in MY journeys that people are pretty much the same everywhere.  It is the governments that suck.

My Year Abroad. Chang-Rae Lee
February 24, 2021 10:50 AM PST
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Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

1Q1A. My Year Abroad Chang-Rae Lee
February 24, 2021 10:48 AM PST
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Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

Luckenbooth. Jenni Fagan
February 24, 2021 10:41 AM PST
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Luckenbooth, her third novel, about an Edinburgh tenement and the curse that haunts it, infecting the lives of all who live across the building's nine floors over nine decades of mystery and uproarious change ... Melding the poetic, the esoteric and the occult with the grit and grime of a real life lived on the edge, she writes unlike any other author of her generation, in no small part because she has lived a life unlike any other author.' Scotsman 'A whirlwind of a novel, and I am certain that various labels will be attached to it - Caledonian magic realism, tartan gothic, something nasty in the shortbread tin, Angela...

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