The first fifteen pages or so of this book had me solidly intrigued, but then I reached a certain scene that made me gasp, and I knew I was hooked for good. All The Birds, Singing is scary in the best way – Wyld has that great talent for coming up with very specific imagery that will scare your pants off, and you never see it coming. Spooky, atmospheric, and utterly captivating.
If you are looking for a book to sweep you off your feet for a while, this is it. If you’re looking for your next beach/river/lake/plane/train/road trip read, this is it. If you’re looking for a book with a fascinating, well-executed concept and warm, authentic characters, this is it. If you’re looking for a great love story, this is it. So what are you waiting for?
I’m a bit addicted to Europa’s World Noir series. I Will Have Vengeance is the first book in a quartet starring Commissario Ricciardi, a detective known for his aloof attitude and high solve rate. His secret? He sees the ghosts of victims, acting out their final moments in an endless, macabre loop. I Will Have Vengeance is a satisfying and intelligent summer read.
There is something so satisfying about Emma Donoghue’s historical fiction. She always hits that perfect sweet spot of authentic characters and impeccable research. And then there’s the simple fact that her sentences sing. Frog Music is a literary crime novel set in San Francisco just after the Gold Rush, and I was hooked from page 1.
I count Tom Rachman in the same league as Colum McCann and Ann Patchett. The Rise & Fall of Great Powers is about a bookseller in Wales who has lived all over the globe, and now that she is somewhat settled, her history is something she prefers to keep quiet. But when an old boyfriend resurfaces, the mystery of her own past is raised again. I just love this book. It’s addictive in the very best way.
Transatlantic is a sweeping novel that studies the well-trod path between Ireland and the United States. This book made me cry six times, but not entirely out of sadness—it was more from a sense of connection with the world McCann brings to life. Read the chapter about the first transatlantic flight on a wood and linen plane and you’ll see what I mean. Every harrowing, magnificent detail is perfectly formed, and it’s like that the whole book through.
Aimee Bender is one of my top-five short story writers. Her stories remind me of the best fairy tales, beautiful and strange and slightly dangerous, and her characters make me see the world in a different way. I turn to her again and again when I need a dose of color and fizz in my life. The Color Master is bright and satisfying. I promise you’ve never seen anything like these stories.
Longbourn explores the world of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the household servants, who toil away at backbreaking work while the ladies of the house chase their fortunes. It’s a lush retelling that focuses smartly on social inequality but manages to also be utterly beautiful and escapist. Save this book for a good rainy day. It’s the kind of fiction you won’t want to leave behind.