Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recent Reads

Lately I've found that variety is the key to healthy reading. With that in mind, here are a few recent favourites:

fur(l) parachute - Shannon Maguire 
This lovely book plays with Old English poetry - interweaving texts and shuffling through eras of English. The language is rich and textured, the poems and translations are sorrowful and playful in turns, but always lively. 

The Jesus Year - Jani Krulc
I like reading short stories before bed because they're short, and that usually lets me put a book aside and go to sleep. Not the case here. These thrilling, often morbid, stories kept me turning the pages until I had finished the book. And now I'm ready for Jani to hurry up and get the next one out.

The Magicians, The Magician King - Lev Grossman
This pair of books riff on the familiar fantasy traditions of Narnia and Hogwarts, but bring the conventions crashing down with a dose of realism (what would actually happen if teenagers were tasked with saving the world with magic powers? It would get messy, and they'd bring a hell of a lot of angst to the table).

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Historical fiction set in World War II. Narrated by Death. This terrific book brings an interesting approach to a familiar topic, and executes it with excellence. I found myself laughing and crying, urging the characters to make different choices, and at times had to put the book down to deal with the emotional upheaval of reading about the horrors of the Nazis and the Holocaust as the world shatters around a young girl.

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