THE WOMAN WHO LOST HER SOUL by Bob Shacochis

This is a big book in every sense of the word: big in breadth, in ideas, in audacity. You will lose your heart to it and end up shaking your head in awe and admiration. And along the way, you will learn something about the shadowy world of politics and espionage, the hypocrisy of religion, and the lengths that the players go to keep their sense of identity – their very soul – from fragmenting.

January 3, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Facing History, Latin American/Caribbean

THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton

Twelve men meet at the Crown Hotel in Hokitika, New Zealand, in January, 1866. A thirteenth, Walter Moody, an educated man from Edinburgh who has come here to find his fortune in gold, walks in. As it unfolds, the interlocking stories and shifting narrative perspectives of the twelve–now thirteen–men bring forth a mystery that all are trying to solve, including Walter Moody, who has just gotten off the Godspeed ship with secrets of his own that intertwine with the other men’s concerns.

December 17, 2013 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, 2013 Man Booker Shortlist, Man Booker Prize, New Zealand, y Award Winning Author

11/22/63: A NOVEL by Stephen King

Dedicated Stephen King fans are in for an epic treat—an odyssey, a Fool’s journey, an adventure with romance. A genre-bending historical novel with moral implications, this story combines echoes of Homer, H.G. Wells, Don Quixote, Quantum Leap (the old TV show), Jack Finney’s TIME AND AGAIN, and even a spoonful of meta-King himself, the czar of popular fiction.

November 8, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Alternate History, Facing History, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Texas, y Award Winning Author

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE, a play on words for the ReadMe file that accompanies many computer programs, is above all a wild adventure/detective story set in the present day. As one would expect from this author, current technology features prominently. The cast of characters is international, offering windows into such diverse types as Russian gangsters, Chinese hackers, American entrepreneurs, Idaho survivalists and second amendment fanatics among many others.

September 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, China, Scifi, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY edited by Otto Penzler and James Ellroy

At almost 800 pages and around $20 the anthology THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY is guaranteed to please noir fans. The book is the no-brainer choice for anyone interested in crime fiction, but even more than that, anyone even remotely curious about the delineations under the umbrella term “crime fiction” must read Otto Penzler’s inspired introduction. As a reader of crime and noir fiction, there’s nothing more annoying than to see the word “noir” bandied about; its misuse threatens to render the term meaningless, so here’s Otto Penzler on this “prodigiously overused term” to set the record straight.

January 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Noir, Short Stories

A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR by Mark Helprin

Alessandro Giuliani is listening to field guns being tested in Munich in 1914, the year before Italy entered the War against Germany and Austria. Although mostly interested in the visual arts, Alessandro should know about music and beauty of all kinds; as a Professor of Aesthetics, it is his metier. But he learns about it the hard way. When the war breaks out, he is just about to take his doctorate at the University of Bologna. He volunteers for the Italian navy in the hope of avoiding conscription into the trenches, but he ends up in some of the worst fighting of the war nonetheless, facing the Austrians across the river Isonzo.

November 6, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Literary, World Lit