"Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has. In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone." The new novel from the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. [more inside]
An essay collection from Samantha Irby about ageing, marriage, settling down with step-children in white, small-town America.
Written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1999. Two groups of characters, one from the late thirties and forties and one in the then present-day ~1999 (a few who are descendants of the earlier group) involve themselves with codes, codebreaking, and Axis war gold, among other things. [more inside]
Our boys have gone full-time at the Bureau of Balance, and their next assignment is a real thorny one: apprehending The Raven, a master thief who’s tapped into the power of a Grand Relic to ransack the city of Goldcliff. Local life-saver Lieutenant Hurley pulls them out of the woods, only to throw them headlong into the world of battle wagon racing, Goldcliff’s favorite high-stakes low-legality sport and The Raven’s chosen battlefield. Will the boys and Hurley be able to reclaim the Relic and pull The Raven back from the brink, or will they get lost in the weeds?
Katherine Faw's extraordinary book is "a fantasy novel for furious, anti-capitalist misandrists." [Garage]
"There are a few things that are widely known about the work of HP Lovecraft – his viscous, tentacular monsters; his fondness for words such as “eldritch” and “gibbous”; and his racism. Matt Ruff’s new book is therefore a kind of exorcism. It pits a predominantly black cast of characters against “America’s demons”, though the Shoggoth in the woods is not nearly as dangerous as the systemic and ubiquitous racism they encounter. Is it scarier if the sheet-clad thing holding a burning torch is a genuine ghost, or just your average member of the Ku Klux Klan?" (From Stuart Kelly's review for The Guardian.)
Iwaoka Tetsu invites fellow student Mogumo to work at his family’s café for “cross-dressing boys,” but he makes an incorrect assumption: Mogumo is non-binary and doesn’t identify as a boy or a girl. However, Mogumo soon finds out that the café is run by LGBT+ folks of all stripes, all with their own reasons for congregating there. [more inside]
A Marxist, transmasculine re-imagining of the life of Jack Sheppard, notorious 18th century English thief, as a rollicking and bawdy historical adventure-romance, with a side of academic satire. By Jordy Rosenberg. New York Times editors choice and a New Yorker best book of the year.
First contact happens in the year 2007. Cora Sabino, a college dropout and daughter of a famous whistleblower, unwillingly ends up in the center of it all, acting as an interpreter for the aliens.
The second volume of Tamsyn Muir's Locked Tomb trilogy. [more inside]
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on. Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? [more inside]
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer. [GoodReads] [more inside]
Lundy is a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should. When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.
Written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in two parts, first in 1605 and then in 1615, this is the story of Don Quixote, a knight-errant, and his squire, peasant Sancho Panza. Except errantry is out of style by the time Quixote begins his series of expeditions. The jury is still out on if this is fodder for great tragedy or great comedy. [more inside]
Humanity clings to life on January--a colonized planet divided between permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Two cities, built long ago in the meager temperate zone, serve as the last bastions of civilization--but life inside them is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside. Sophie, a young student from the wrong side of Xiosphant city, is exiled into the dark after being part of a failed revolution. But she survives--with the help of a mysterious savior from beneath the ice.
A corporation is running for president. And that’s the good guys. Start with The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike, by Mefi's Own andrhia (a/k/a Andrea Phillips). Take a little detour into this follow-up essay. Then crack open America Inc., a novel of democracy and dirty tricks.
The final installment of the Daevabad Trilogy picks up exactly where the last book left off. Nahri and Ali surface on the Nile while Manizheh and Dara now have control of Daevabad. [more inside]
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet. Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.
Ibram X. Kendi writes part a distillation of the thesis from his 2016 Stamped from the Beginning previously and part personal memoir of his own journey through racist ideas to an antiracist perspective. [more inside]
Convenience Store Woman (Japanese: コンビニ人間, Hepburn: Konbini ningen) is a 2016 novel by Japanese writer Sayaka Murata. It captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. The novel won the Akutagawa Prize in 2016. Aside from working as a writer, Murata worked at a convenience store three times a week, basing her novel on her experiences. [more inside]