Bookseller at Ravenna
Jessie shelves science, nature, biography, political science, humor, pets, essays, education and mythology. Her taste in books is just as vast and diverse as her shelving categories. Most recently she spends her time planning for the apocalypse by reading about climate change and space travel.
I am addicted to dystopian vignettes. With TV shows like Black Mirror or Love, Death & Robots I've found myself ravenously consuming these fleeting but entrancing short stories. Alien Virus Love Disaster is perfect for this. It hits all the good spots-- aliens, robots, other beastie creatures-- but also ponders humanity, class, and wealth. What will our families and communities look like in these dystopian landscapes? Will things change for the better? Otis's take can be a bit dark, but is immeasurably brightened by the pure absurdity of some of her stories and characters.
Here is a narrator that I will always love! Storytelling is the heart of this book, and Kvothe is the ultimate storyteller. Our hero is cocky and confident, but rightfully and satisfyingly so. Rothfuss has nested tales within fantastical tales in this epic world, complete with its own deep lore, history, and mythology. The Name of the Wind is overflowing with tavern tables, tearful ballads, murder, magic school, and true love-- everything you want from a fantasy novel and so much more. It is my top pick in this category. I regret devouring this book too quickly on my first read. What I wouldn't give to experience it once again for the first time!
Michael Cunningham has daringly woven together the stories of three women in a reworking of Virginia Woolf's book Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf's life and novel echo through Cunningham's interpretation as much as they explicitly occur through chapters from Mrs. Woolf's own perspective. He even employs her writing style in ways I find impressive and respectful. Mrs. Dalloway is not required reading before sitting down with The Hours, though you may find yourself aching to read it afterwards. This book is a masterful examination of converging lives coping with illness, loss, and suicide. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking triptych of stories to engage with.
This is an astounding book of science writing, although the science behind an octopus' biology and behavior is only a small part of what makes this book so captivating. Humor and heartbreak coalesce as Sy Mongtomery sucks us into the waters and introduces us to a creature whose personality and emotions rival our own in their depth. I felt warmed with stories of affection between the octopuses and aquarists at the New England Aquarium. Of course now I desperately want to meet
these wondrous beings myself. I finished this book knowing that my empathy for the octopus will translate into a deeper respect for all our so-called "lower" life forms. It is truly inspirational.