magical realism

Cover art for Astonishing Color of After, title text over the outline of a crane.

The Astonishing Color of After

Emily X.R. Pan
5
Rated by
Hebah A.H.
Thursday, Aug 16, 2018

One of the things that draws me to young adult books is their handling of serious issues. When I saw this title dealing with both depression/suicide and the search for roots and answers to family secrets, I was intrigued. The Astonishing Color of After handled both beautifully. Leigh's search for answers and connection to the Taiwanese grandparents she never knew after her mother's death is a painful one that reaches no easy answers but still ends with hope and an implied sense that healing can finally begin.

Book Cover

Spellbook of the Lost and Found

Moira Fowley-Doyle
5
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

If you don't close your mouth, a fly will fly in, and then you'll have to swallow a spider to catch the fly, and then a cat to catch the spider, and then a dog to catch the cat, and then a goat to catch the dog, and then a cow to catch the goat, and then a horse to catch the cow, and then a lost soul to catch the horse.

Enchanting. Atmospheric. Mysterious. (a lost soul to catch the horse) Lush. Gritty. Suspenseful. There are so many good words I can think of to describe the beguiling collection of words that is this book. Dark. Mature. Sensual.

Assassin's Creed Origins cover art, a hooded man in front of a pyramid

Assassin's Creed: Origins

Ubisoft
4
Rated by
Rachel C.
Saturday, Mar 3, 2018

The latest in the Assassin's Creed juggernaut, Origins (available for PS4 and XBoxOne) is immediately striking due to the sheer amount of pretty. The vast expanses of desert, the detail in the cities, the shining pyramids, the stars in the sky...this game is gorgeous. Happily, it's more than just a pretty face!

illustration of a silhouette of a man, inside a fram

The Portrait

Antoine Laurain
3
Rated by
Maryana K.
Friday, Nov 17, 2017

The Portrait follows the journey of Pierre-François Chaumont, a married Parisian attorney. As a boy, Pierre is influenced by his uncle to become a collector of objects. He begins with scented erasers, but quickly raises the level of sophistication and moves on to antiques. By the time the reader finds Pierre in present day, his collection is massive and a point of contention between him and his wife. It is his latest purchase, a portrait of a man, which really puts their marriage on shaky ground.

Purple cover with light blue writing "Exit West"

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid
4
Rated by
Stefanie E.
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017

Exit West offers an opportunity to understand the refugee experience on a powerful level through the eyes of two university students.

Hamid, in brief poetic prose, shows us just how quickly a country can be thrown into a wartime scenario and a people forced to displace themselves as refugees.

woman wing walking on a biplane

On Kingdom Mountain

Howard Frank Mosher
4
Rated by
Maryana K.
Friday, Dec 9, 2016

“They lived in a house at the end of the road and were friends to mankind”- Kinneson family motto.

Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami
4
Rated by
Megan C.
Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016

Haruki Murakami is not for everyone, but he’s one of my favorite authors. His indescribable blend of post modernism, magic realism, and surrealism set in his native Japan never fail to provoke rumination on topics ranging from existential to mundane. This novel is translated by the prize-winning J. Philip Gabriel.

Book cover

I Crawl Through It

A.S. King
5
Thursday, Dec 17, 2015

"Challenging" was the first word I heard used to describe this book. I think "surreal" was the next. Following that was "impossible to describe." Even the author herself, when asked to describe the book, talked about the themes and ideas that led to its creation without attempting to describe the plot or characters.

Book cover

There Will Be Lies

Nick Lake
4
Friday, Dec 11, 2015

There will be two lies, [the coyote] says. Then there will be the truth. And that will be the hardest of all.

And what lies they are. Even more so, as the coyote promises, the lies exposed by the truth. Nothing will be the same.

Not ever.

And that's not even to mention the small surprises and little white lies along the way.

a bubble answer sheet with the title written in

I Crawl Through It

A. S. King
5
Rated by
Amy F.
Monday, Aug 24, 2015

I was lucky enough to hear AS King speak when she visited our Library in August 2015. Eventually, after much fascinating talk, one of the moderators got around to asking her about her newest book, I Crawl Through It. "What's it about?" We all laughed, as we had earlier established how difficult it can be to neatly summarize a King novel. But then King's expression turned serious and she said, "It's about the way teens have to deal, daily, with both intruder drills and standardized tests - and how messed up that is." I had already been planning on reading King's new book, but now I knew, I had to read it now.

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