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House of Leaves (Mark Z. Danielewski)

 This novel is really…unusual. And creepy. Did I mention it’s kinda weird? But that’s part of its charm. It’s a real unusual read that initially started out as an online project, but unlike some other web-to-book works it actually makes sense as a “novel.” Danielewski’s…

We the Animals (Justin Torres)

To be honest, I picked this book up because its cover reminded me of a houseboat vacation I ended up on with some friends at Lake Shasta several summers ago. That vacation was relaxing and fun…We the Animals was not relaxing, but it was definitely…

The Lover’s Dictionary (David Levithan)

I don’t usually go for romantic works, but The Lover’s Dictionary is definitely a sweet little book. It’s poignant and beautifully written, and somehow manages to capture the complex and complicated thing we call love. The story is told from the male protagonist’s perspective, through…

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Haruki Murakami)

I have been meaning to read Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for years, and I finally, finally did! It was well worth the 607 pages of dense text and subject matter. I have to admit that this novel was not a particularly uplifting read,…

Waking (Ron Rash)

I recently took a trip to Asheville, North Carolina, where I ended up at Malaprops Bookstore. I was browsing their rather sizable Local Authors section when I came across Ron Rash’s newest collection of poetry. If you read my blog regularly, you know that poetry…

Starting From Happy (Patricia Marx)

I almost didn’t pick up Patricia Marx’s new novel Starting From Happy because its spine looked like a traditional “classic” book spine at first. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a bunch of broken eggs in egg cups, and this intrigued me. I think…

An Evening with Joy Harjo

I recently attended the Society of American Indians (SAI) Centennial Symposium at Ohio State University where I had the privilege of attending a reading/performance by renowned Native American poet and musician Joy Harjo. I was also lucky to be the volunteer assigned to Joy, which…

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)

This novel definitely plays with form. It’s a novel, sure, but alongside the words it also has beautiful pencil sketches, snapshots from old movies, letters to the reader, and all manner of other interesting things. It’s a veritable tome, weighing several pounds and measuring at…

Deathless (Catherynne M. Valente)

I picked up Catherynne Valente’s novel Deathless at the local Barnes & Noble. I was in a summertime reading-slump (oddly common for me), and the cover caught my attention. I read the first few pages and was so intrigued that I bought it on the…

An Agnostic Experiment

I was browsing the shelves of staff picks at the local library and stumbled across a familiar cover: The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. I’ve looked at this book before — in bookstores, on friends’ shelves, in libraries — but this time I…