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After Dark (Haruki Murakami)

  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t use such a cheesy effect on the photo of the book…but this is probably the only time I’ll ever have a legitimate reason to use this particular frame. I had to go for it. See, After Dark has these moments where our…

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (Tony Cliff)

  If I had to describe Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant in one word, it would be FUN. This book was, simply put, really damn fun to read. The storyline was interesting, the characters were likable, and the adventures were…well…adventurous. Truth be told, it made me…

Seconds (Bryan Lee O’Malley)

Seconds was a really fun read. I knew it would be, since I loved O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series, but it was such a scrumptious read that I gobbled it up in one afternoon. It definitely captures that specific kind of anxiety that comes with significant life…

S. (J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst)

This book, S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst, gave me the most enjoyable reading experience I’ve had in a long time. It’s such an unusual book — one critic discussed it as “a celebration of the book as a physical thing” — and one that I…

An Evening with Sarah Addison Allen

I attended a reading by Asheville author and UNC Asheville grad Sarah Addison Allen last night, and it was a wonderful experience. I’m always interested in authors’ approaches to readings — what they decide to speak about, how they read their own words, insights they…

The Circle (Dave Eggers)

Considering the very bright shade of orange Dave Eggers’ latest novel, The Circle, comes in, it was hard not to pick this book up off the shelf at my local bookstore. And I’m really glad I did. I don’t think I say this very often,…

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories (Gene Luen Yang & Derek Kirk Kim)

Talk about a dynamic duo: Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim? Woah! This collection is…well, it’s really weird, actually. But good-weird. It has three stories, each of which touches on a different theme: fantasy as escape, money and technology vs. true happiness, and loneliness.…

Same Difference and Other Stories (Derek Kirk Kim)

Same Difference and Other Stories is a lovely collection. Derek Kirk Kim creates characters who are realistic and flawed. They’re not always nice, they don’t always do the right thing, and they make pretty bad decisions at times…but they have depth and they’re the kinds…

Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero (Fred Chao)

Johnny Hiro is immensely entertaining. It’s funny, it’s silly, and it’s eccentric. Johnny appears to be an average Asian American man trying to lead a “normal” life (whatever that is), but with an extraordinary propensity for locating large-scale monsters, sticky situations, and groups of people…

Potiki (Patricia Grace)

Potiki is one of Patricia Grace’s most well-known novels. It’s deceptively simple, written in simple language but engaging with complex imagery and symbolism. Grace merges Christian mythology and Maori belief systems in a novel that is at once lyrical and political — that balance so…