fiction

NWPR Books
6:01 am
Wed February 18, 2015

'Tales Of The Marvellous' Is Indeed Very Strange

"I have come in search of a gazelle with white feet or a man in a shirt."

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NWPR Books
7:03 am
Tue February 17, 2015

'Find Me' Gets Lost Along The Way

America's recent tussle with Ebola — and the current resurgence of measles — has made pandemics a major issue, and a major fear. Not that you'd know it from Laura Van Den Berg's Find Me. In it, a haunted young woman named Joy winds up in a hospital in rural Kansas, following the onset of a mysterious, fatal disease, one that erases people's memories.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Black Slugs And 'Black Holes,' An Artful Portrait Of Depression

There's a small subgenre of young-adult novels that treat suicide as a mystery left behind for the survivors. From John Green's 2006 debut Looking For Alaska and Jay Asher's 2007 bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why to more recent titles like Michelle Falkoff's Playlist For The Dead, survivors try to unravel the causes and meaning of a purposeful death, through clues the victim left behind.

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NWPR Books
5:25 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Ten Hearts For The Country — And Language — Of 'Ice Cream Star'

I love arguing about books. Tell me Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the best modern American novel ever written and I'll fight you. Tell me it wasn't and I'll fight you, too. I'm just scrappy that way.

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NWPR Books
7:03 am
Wed February 11, 2015

'Finn Fancy' Is Urban Fantasy With A Pop Culture Sweet Tooth

Fantasy's turn toward the grim has not lessened lately, nor should it. The success of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire not only justifies all that brooding darkness, it's opened the doors for many other excellent and similarly grim books. Randy Henderson, however, has something else in mind entirely with his debut novel, Finn Fancy Necromancy. Strictly speaking, it's an urban fantasy, one that takes place in and around present-day Seattle.

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NWPR Books
4:58 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Ignoring The Rules, Kelly Link Traffics In Wonder, Irony And Teenage Longings

Kelly Link's work also includes Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters.
Sharona Jacobs Courtesy of Sharona Jacobs Photography LLC

As a writer Kelly Link is possessed of many magical powers, but to me what's most notable about her new collection, Get in Trouble, is its astonishing freedom. It's one thing to put demon lovers and ghost boyfriends and spaceships in your stories, but it's something else to allow yourself to explore broad and unusual territory without worrying whether the reader will follow you closely. Link's fiction may be strange, but so, it seems, are all of us, each with our own highly particular inner lives.

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NWPR Books
11:54 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Funny If It Weren't So True: A Farce About 'The Importance Of Beauty'

Amanda Filipacchi is also the author of the novels Nude Men, Vapor and Love Creeps.
Marion Ettlinger Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 1:54 pm

"Does this obituary make me look fat?"

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NWPR Books
6:35 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Cozy 'Blue Thread' Is Unabashedly Domestic

You don't read Anne Tyler to have your worldview expanded, or to be kept awake at night anxiously turning pages. You read, instead, for the cozy mildness, the comfort of sinking into each new warmhearted, gently wry book.

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NWPR Books
10:27 am
Mon February 9, 2015

'Karen Memory' Builds Up A Good Head Of Steam

Originally published on

Steampunk, like any other kind of science fiction, can get top-heavy. Elizabeth Bear may or may not have had this in mind when writing Karen Memory, her new standalone steampunk novel, but she addresses it anyway. While a certain percentage of the genre dwells too much on anachronistic technology and tropes, sometimes at the cost of a winning story, Karen Memory — set in an imaginary city of the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800s — deploys its steam-driven marvels sparingly and with pinpoint precision.

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NWPR Books
6:32 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Don't Have A 'Cow,' Man

It's hard to know where to begin with Holy Cow, so let's just get this out of the way: It is sort of a children's book, and it was written by David Duchovny, star of The X-Files and Californication. It is about a cow named Elsie Bovary (get it?) who flees her farm with a pig and a turkey. They eventually end up in Jerusalem. This is possible because the turkey knows how to fly an airplane. The moral of the story, which is stated explicitly and repeatedly, is that people should be more conscious about the food they eat.

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