Ellyne

 

Ellyne's Staff Picks:

(See more of my Staff Picks here!)


 

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Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062484154
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - December 6th, 2016

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories

Comments:
16 wonderful stories by Kathleen Collins, who died in 1988 at the age of 46.  What a loss! 

These stories are complex, graceful, and fluid.  They are unflinching, but never mean-spirited. I'm sure they were radical in their time and although they should not be today, I found them so, nevertheless.  Not harsh, but crisp and clear-eyed.

Oh, try them!  You won't read just one!


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American by Day Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781328876652
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - April 3rd, 2018

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: American by Day

Comments:
If you liked Norwegian by Night, I think you'll like American by Day.  Haven't read the first one, that's okay, too.
It's difficult to find escapist reads that are 'lit-light' or close to it.  Here, a Norwegian detective comes to America to find her somewhat-estranged brother. She ends up working with a quirky U.S. counterpart  which creates some romantic and lighter moments.

Some will be put off by a few pages of educatative writing on race.  Me?  I liked it, thought it was well done and in keeping with the story.  

I whiled my time away, having no desire to do anything but escape into this book!


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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525520221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - February 6th, 2018

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: I Am, I Am, I Am

Comments:
We've all had a glimpse of our mortality, but O'Farrell's 17 essays, all brushes with death and each related to a body part, serve more than a reminder of those moments. I was gripped by many of the events, found others totally recognizable, and still others - connected to her daughter - both heartbreaking and totally uplifting.

Then there is the prose: a successful novelist, O'Farrell here becomes a lyrical writer of her own life, a life lived in danger as well as in the mundane every day. She makes it all important and we come out the wiser for having read about a precious life, or how precious life is.

This was a great read.


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Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501126079
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 8th, 2018

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: Sing, Unburied, Sing

Comments:
After I finished reading this book, I realized that the main character, Jojo, was so real to me that I felt like he was bearing witness in a memoir. And, of course, the experiences Ward writes about were real: Parchman IS real, race is real.
Is the Bardo real? Odd to have read two books where souls are suspended, waiting for release, odder still, both "Lincoln in the Bardo" and this book worked for me. The stories that these spirits tell bear witness, too, in a most powerful way.
If Jojo can evoke the past, he can also give us hope for the future.
So well written; such a good read...


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Five-Carat Soul Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735216693
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 26th, 2017

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: Five-Carat Soul

Comments:
An excellent writer, McBride creates characters - and plots - that carry us to the small spaces between what is and what we think we know, that challenge us to explore, and that surprise us!
These stories are definitely gems, perfectly formed and full of soul, wit, and pathos.
Highly recommended.


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Dark at the Crossing Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101971550
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - November 21st, 2017

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: Dark at the Crossing

Comments:
A man struggles to get safe passage to America only to be faced with the existential angst immigrants so often experience. His solution: to return to the Middle East to fight in Syria with the Free Army.

The story begins when Haris Abadi reaches the border. With occasional trips to a backstory, we follow him and those who people his life as he moves his journey forward.

We feel the authenticity, and, indeed, the author is a military vet who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who also reported from the story's locale.

Perhaps a companion piece to Hamid's "Exit West"?


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The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea Cover Image
By Bandi, Deborah Smith (Translator)
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802126207
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 7th, 2017

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea

Comments:
With North Korea in the news, you may be wondering what life is really like over there. These stories by Bandi - nom de plume for a writer who still lives in N. Korea - will give you a clear view, taking you into a nation where the absolutely absurd is the norm.
How the manuscript for this book made it out of N. Korea is a story just as wild as the stories Bandi wrote, and can be found at the end of the book.


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Transit (Outline Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250151797
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - December 19th, 2017

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: Transit

Comments:
Tessa Hadley's blurb on the back of the book: It's perfect. I can only add that after you finish, or even while you're still reading, some little thing will happen - you'll notice that your pants are loose or your supermarket will stop carrying the brand of coffee that you usually buy - and you'll think about what Rachel Cusk could do with that "event." And then you'll absolutely tingle with the realization of how magical her ability is to take everyday events and connect them deeply to the pathos that is life. You'll wonder how she does it and you'll want more!

(You may want to read "Outline" first, but you don't have to.)