Book Review

John Kessel’s PRIDE AND PROMETHEUS

A review of John Kessel’s Pride and Prometheus, published on February 14, 2018 by Saga Press.

Around ten years after the events in Pride and Prejudice, both Mary and Kitty find themselves still unmarried. When Mary meets Victor Frankenstein, she becomes enamored and begins to fall for the mysterious stranger. Meanwhile, the Creature is waiting for Victor to fashion him a bride, threatening his maker as he is reluctant to repeat his previous experiments – and Mary finds herself in the middle.

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Book Review

Dave Itzkoff’s ROBIN

A review of Dave Itzkoff’s Robin, published on May 15, 2018 by Henry Holt & Company.

The author did a really good job of portraying the comedian’s seemingly dual natures: Robin Williams was both the extroverted, slightly crazy funny man who was always cracking jokes, as well as a more introverted and introspective man, where he was sometimes filled with self-doubt of his abilities. Knowing how Robin Williams ended his own life gave a greater sense of meaning each moment of self-doubt, to every hiccup on the road, and shed a new light on the actor’s life.

Book Review

Charlie N. Holmberg’s THE PLASTIC MAGICIAN

A review of Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4 [spin-off]), which was published on May 15, 2018 by 47North.

The Plastic Magician follows Alvie Brechenmacher, an American (from Columbus, Ohio) who is doing her Polymaking apprenticeship in England under the tutelage of the well-known inventor (and nephew of the founder of the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined), Marion Praff. Polymaking – the study of plastic-based magic – is a relatively new field which, while filled with exciting new discoveries, also leads to fierce competition between the magicians within the discipline…

Book Review

Clarissa Goenawan’s RAINBIRDS

A review of Clarissa Goenawan’s Rainbirds, originally published on March 16, 2018 by Soho Press (audiobook published by HighBridge Audio).

Rainbirds tells the story of Ren Ishida, who gets the news that his older sister, Keiko, was murdered one night on her way home. He travels to Akakawa to gather his sister’s things and try to understand why she left Tokyo for this small town. Soon, he finds himself essentially living her life – working as a teacher at her school (since he majored in British Literature), living in the room she rented, and making friends with the same people she was friends with – as he struggles to understand her death.

Book Review

Ariel Lawhon’s I WAS ANASTASIA

A review of Ariel Lawhon’s I Was Anastasia, published on March 27, 2018 by Doubleday Books (and Brilliance Audio).

In 1918, Tsar Nicholas Romanov and his family – including his youngest daughter, Anastasia – were ordered to be murdered by Vladimir Lenin. Two years later, a woman with an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia was pulled from a Berlin canal. She went by Anna Anderson but claimed to be the missing Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Book Review

Sarah Winman’s TIN MAN

A review of Sarah Winman’s Tin Man, published on May 15, 2018 by PENGUIN GROUP Putnam.

Ellis and Michael first met when they were twelve, and they became fast friends. But somewhere in between, as they spent their time cycling and swimming and being boys, their friendship evolved into something more. Later in life, though, Ellis married Annie and Michael was not around, leading to the question: what happened in between?

Book Review

Barbara K. Lipska’s and Elaine McArdle’s THE NEUROSCIENTIST WHO LOST HER MIND

A review of Dr. Barbara K. Lipska’s memoir The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind, which will be published on April 3, 2018.

In this memoir, Lipska recounts her descent into madness during the summer of 2015, as the tumors continued to affected her brain chemistry in adverse ways, with a stunning clarity that offers the reader a unique glimpse into the mind of someone with mental illness.