Archive for September, 2011

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morganstern

Illusion and reality intersect and overlap to reveal a luminous, mesmerizing character– Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams). As the sun is the center of the solar system, the Circus of Dreams is the central character of this enchanting tale. Like a magnetic field, Le Cirque des Rêves pulls in other characters like orbiting satellites around a bright star. This isn’t your childhood circus–rather, this is more in tune with Lewis Carroll or M.C. Escher–a surreal and hypnotic place of the imagination and spirit.

September 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Debut Novel, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

BOXER, BEETLE by Ned Beauman

First-time author Ned Beauman really lays it out there in the first chapter of this extraordinary novel, which begins with an imaginary surprise birthday party thrown by Hitler for Joseph Goebbels in 1940. It is an exhilarating, outrageous opening to a book that will in fact take a quite different course. But it is important as a way of establishing the moral parameters (and this IS a moral book) and freeing up an imaginative space in which Beauman can explore some ideas that are normally unapproachable.

September 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, Humorous, Satire, United Kingdom

ALL IS FORGOTTEN, NOTHING IS LOST by Lan Samantha Chang

This is a beautiful book. If you want to read something that has the same effect as gazing at a vast and perfect ink-wash painting, calming and yet utterly absorbing, reach for this. Like the tiniest haze of seeping ink will be skillful enough to convey a distant village nestling in the hills, or the flight of a crane; there is not a word misplaced in this small and lovely work. Its theme is poetry, and indeed the exquisite style does full justice to the subject.

September 12, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary

MAKEDA by Randall Robinson

MAKEDA is the title character of Randall Robinson’s astounding, thought provoking, and highly engaging novel. A blind retired “laundress,” Makeda’s life is anchored in her tiny, often sun-filled, parlour in Richmond, Virginia. Her modest circumstances, after a life of hardship, stand in stark contrast to her appearance and demeanor: at home, at church and in the market, she is usually clad in richly embroidered beautiful African gowns and she radiates wisdom and emotional strength, instilling respect wherever she goes. Some unknown visitors leave gifts for her, or speak to her as if she were somebody else…

September 11, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Africa, Coming-of-Age, Family Matters, Literary, US South

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Danish Detective Carl Morck is a walking tormented shell of his former self. Recently returned to work, he is living with post-traumatic stress disorder following an incident that ended with the shooting death of one of his colleagues and a shot that paralyzed his friend, Detective Hardy. Morck was also injured by a shot to the head. So far the perpetrators have not been found and Morck lives with survivor’s guilt. He is difficult to get along with, often late to work, and no longer has his heart in his work.

September 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Denmark, Drift-of-Life, Noir, Sleuths Series

PLUGGED by Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer? He writes those kid’s books, Artemis Fowl, doesn’t he? What’s someone who writes really popular children’s books doing writing a crime novel? Well according to the dedication, Irish author Eoin Colfer says the book is “For Ken Bruen who made me do it.” So we have Bruen to thank for this first book in what promises to be an entertaining series.

September 9, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Humorous, Thriller/Spy/Caper, United Kingdom