First is The Odditorium by Melissa Pritchard, published by Bellevue Literary Press. You may remember that two books I loved last year - Tinkers and The Sojourn were also published by BLP. I've really been loving this short story collection. All of the stories are based on historical figures - which means lots and lots of running to Wikipedia for me! And if you look at the picture, you'll notice that I've stuck tabs in the places where I want to do further research! The reading has been a little slow on account of the research, but I've really enjoyed it and I've learned a LOT! The Odditorium is available NOW. My review is here.
Also from BLP is Inukshuk by Gergory Spatz. I started this one a few days ago and it's pretty great so far. Here's the blurb:
John Franklin has moved his fifteen-year-old son to the remote northern Canadian town of Houndstitch to make a new life together after his wife, Thomas’ mother, left them. Mourning her disappearance, John writes poetry and escapes into an affair, while Thomas, isolated and bullied, withdraws into a fantasy recreation of the infamous Victorian-era arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin. Artistically gifted yet dangerously obsessive, Thomas gives himself scurvy so that he can sympathize with the characters in the film of his mind—and is almost lost himself.
A poignant tale of the vulnerability of adolescence interspersed with powerfully evoked scenes of the legendary Franklin crew’s descent into despair, madness, and cannibalism on the Arctic tundra, Inukshuk offers readers a modern family drama as well as a compelling historical adventure.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Inukshuk will be published in June of 2012. In the meantime, read an excerpt here.
Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next twenty-five years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, connect and disconnect and reconnect with one another and their victim. As one character says, ‘When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.’
Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest tragedies and joys of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to one another than we’d expect.
Even if it's only HALF as good as the early reviews have indicated, I think Carry The One may be one of the best books published this year.
Published by Simon & Schuster, available March 6, 2012.
I won Three Ways of the Saw by Matt Mullins, published by Atticus Books, in a giveaway on Twitter. Atticus has been on a roll recently. They published The Great Lenore, which I reviewed earlier this year and also The Bee-Loud Glade, which I've almost finished. Both of those books are beautifully written and Atticus has joined my list of small publishing houses to watch.
Always gritty, often cruel, yet quietly insightful, this jagged chain of vignettes is for readers who try to hold their thoughts together with duct tape while never quite grasping the things they just can’t seem to name.Um... yes please!
Three Ways of the Saw will be published on February 29, 2012.
So there they are, all stacked up. Expect reviews of all four of these in the coming months. Thank you so much to Bellevue Literary Press, Atticus Books and Simon & Schuster for providing these review copies!