Tags: 21st century - fiction

Books

Foe by Iain Reid.

81XITOB5vHL

Title: Foe.
Author: Iain Reid.
Genre: Fiction, science fiction, thriller, horror, philosophical fiction, A.I..
Country: Canada.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2018.
Summary: Junior and Hen are a quiet married couple. They live a comfortable, isolated life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with surprising news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel away from the farm... very far away—a different planet. It is mandatory, a community service. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Hen won't have a chance to miss him at all, because she won't be left alone—not even for a moment. Hen will have company. Familiar company. As the couple tries to reconcile with their upcoming parting, and Junior begins to suspect not everything is as it seems as he helps the stranger prepare his own "replacement", the book examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person.

My rating: 7.5/10.
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Nine Inches: Stories by Tom Perrotta.

1770894276

Title: Nine Inches: Stories.
Author: Tom Perrotta.
Genre: Short stories.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2013.
Summary: A book of 10 short stories. In Backrub, after not getting into any college and being left behind, a young man gets a delivery job and begins to have strange interactions with a local cop. In Grade My Teacher, a highschool teacher finds an unexpected connection with an overweight student in her class, when she meets her outside of school to discuss a horrible review the girl left her on a teacher's rating website. The Smile on Happy Chang's Face documents the unravelling of an umpire dad at a Little League game. In Kiddie Pool, while sneaking into his recently-deceased, once-best-friend-and-now-bitter-rival neighbour's yard at night to inflate his kiddie pool, Gus is shocked to discover a secret his own wife kept with their neighbour. In Nine Inches, two elementary-school teachers chaperoning a dance accidentally find out they inexplicably missed the greatest love story of their lives. In Senior Season, the author gently marks the points of connection between an injured and benched former football star, and an old woman neighbour. In One-Four-Five, a pediatrician who cheats on his wife and loses everything he's grown accustomed to tries to rebuild his life by learning to play guitar. In The Chosen Girl, an aging lonely mother begins to grow fascinated with a girl she watches out her window every morning that belongs to a mysterious religious cult that has become prominent in their town. In The Test-Taker, a high-school student earning income on the side by taking others' SAT tests makes an unwise decision to go out before a test, and runs into the young man whose place he is supposed to take the next morning. In The All-Night Party, a single mom pressured into volunteering at an overnight graduation event has an unexpected chance to re-examine her life, as well as her troubled relationship with a local police officer.

My rating: 7.5/10.
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Little Children by Tom Perrotta.

41t+A7Gs2lL

Title: Little Children.
Author: Tom Perrotta.
Genre: Fiction, romance, parenthood, infidelity.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2004.
Summary: The book's thirty-ish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed "the Prom King" by the moms at the playground, and his wife Kathy, a documentary filmmaker envious of the connection Todd has forged with their toddler son. And there's Sarah, a lapsed feminist surprised to find she's become a typical wife in a traditional marriage, and her husband Richard, who is more and more involved with an Internet fantasy life than with his own wife and child. And then there's Mary Ann, who has life all figured out, down to a scheduled roll in the hay with her husband every Tuesday at 9PM. They all raise their kids in the kind of quiet suburb where nothing ever seems to happen—until one eventful summer, when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could ever have imagined.

My rating: 7.5/10

Collapse )
Books

You should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Ross Benjamin).

19ac06bd6e32a85dcd549a61093f73e5

Title: You should Have Left.
Author: Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Ross Benjamin).
Genre: Fiction, novella, epistolary fiction, diary, writing, mystery, mental health.
Country: Germany.
Language: German.
Publication Date: 2016.
Summary: The novella is an eerie and supernatural tale of a writer's emotional collapse in a diary record of the seven days that he, his wife, and his four-year-old daughter spend in a house they have rented in the mountains of Germany—a house that thwarts the expectations of his recollection and seems to defy the very laws of physics. He is eager to finish a screenplay for a sequel to the movie that launched his career, but something he cannot explain is undermining his convictions and confidence, a process he is recording in this account of the uncanny events that unfold as he tries to understand what, exactly, is happening around him—and within him.

My rating: 7.5/10.
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Russian Black Magic: The Beliefs and Practices of Heretics and Blasphemers by Natasha Helvin.

russian-black-magic-9781620558874_hr

Title: Russian Black Magic: The Beliefs and Practices of Heretics and Blasphemers.
Author: Natasha Helvin.
Genre: Non-fiction, occult, religion.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2019.
Summary: Born in the USSR and descended from a matrilineal line of witches, the author offer a look into the secret practices of Russian post-Christian black magic. Drawing on personal experiences, she provides insight into the fundamental ideology of black magic practitioners, from the universal laws of magic to the principles of morality. Exploring the history of occult practices in Russia, particularly the profound effects of Christianity and the birth of a specifically anti-Christian but Christian-adjacent and Christian-blended branch of magic, the author explains cemetery magic, sacrifices, the creation of hell icons, places of power, and much more.

My rating: 4/10.
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Superman: True Brit by John Cleese and Kim Howard Johnson, and John Byrne and Mark Farmer.

160469._SY475_

Title: Superman: True Brit.
Author: John Cleese and Kim Howard Johnson.
Artist: John Byrne and Mark Farmer.
Genre: Graphic novels, fiction, super heroes, satire, parody.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2004.
Summary: In this very British tale, the Last Son of Krypton's rocketship crash-lands in an English town even smaller than Smallville – Weston-super-Mare – where the infant Kal-El is taken in by adoptive parents – the Clarks – who raise their son Colin to hide his powers, because the worst thing anyone can do is stand out from the crowd. But when Colin grows up to become a mild-mannered reporter working for the Daily Smear, a powerful tabloid newspaper dedicated to uncovering the biggest story of the century, he finds that the key to his success may actually be to go public. What will the neighbours think? The story aims to poke fun at the apparent desire to conform embedded in the British psyche, as well as mocking the British tabloid press.

My rating: 6/10
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Ex Machina: Power Down and Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris, Tom Feister and Jim Clark.

A18HJwsRrsL

Title: Ex Machina: Power Down.
Author: Brian K. Vaughan.
Artists: Tony Harris, Tom Feister and Jim Clark.
Genre: Fiction, politics, crime, super heroes.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2007.
Summary: A mysterious new visitor arrives in New York City, with powers that may be connected to superhero mayor Mitchell Hundred's - just as Hundred's own abilities shut down during an extended citywide blackout! Can the mayor manage the ensuing chaos, keep his family safe from an apparent madman, and deal with new revelations about the nature of his barely-comprehended powers?

My rating: 7.5/10.
My Review:

Collapse )
Books

Wenjack by Joseph Boyden.

41LbryvO4DL

Title: Wenjack.
Author: Joseph Boyden.
Genre: Fiction, novella, fiction based on true events, native americans (Ojibwe), historical fiction.
Country: Canada.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2016.
Summary: An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. Along the way he's followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from. Based on the true story of Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack, the novel is a powerful and poignant look into the world of a residential school runaway trying to find his way home.

My rating: 7.5/10.
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Horrology by Various (edited by Stephen Jones).

8158pX8V1PL

Title: Horrology.
Author: Robert Shearman, Clive Barker, Michael Marshall Smith, Pat Cadigan, Mark Samuels, Joanne Harris, Muriel Gray, Kim Newman, Ramsey Campbell, Reggie Oliver, Angela Slatter, and Lisa Tuttle (edited by Stephen Jones).
Genre: Fiction, short stories, horror.
Country: England, U.S., Scotland, and Australia.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2015.
Summary: This collection includes 12 short stories in the horror genres. In Accursed by Robert Shearman, a woman has a strange affliction wherein every time she goes to the circus, a clown dies. In Afraid by Clive Barker, a woman discovers her lover is not human and has to make a difficult choice. In Afterlife by Michael Marshall Smith, a despondent middle-aged man decides to take a motorcycle trip after his divorce, but encounters a young woman on the way that leads him to a whole different life. In Chilling by Pat Cadigan, a journalist investigates the mysterious phenomenon of people freezing to death during a hot summer, and the implications these deaths may have on the weather. In Decay by Mark Samuels, a man sent by his high-profile tech company employer to check on an inventor discovers an astounding but dark invention that has been slowly taking over the world. In Faceless by Joanne Harris a woman recalls her mother's death, a mysterious house from many years past where she met a mysterious being as a little girl, and the Small Things that populated her childhood. In Forgotten by Muriel Gray, a conceited, cruel celebrity has a devastating curse put on him after he has a run-in with an ancient witch. In Guignol by Kim Newman, in the end of the 19th century in Paris, three female intelligence agents try to investigate whether a string of murders and disappearances is connected to a Théâtre des Horreurs, which specializes in putting on horrifying and gory displays every week and is headed by the mysterious masked Guignol, as the rumours on the streets claim. In Ripper by Angela Slatter, a woman masquerading as a rookie policeman sets out to hunt down the infamous Jack the Ripper, after she gets a tip that though he only slays prostitutes, what he's after is of a paranormal nature. In Vastation by Lisa Tuttle, a young woman struggles to help her father who is haunted by a demon who she had seen since she was a child.

My rating: 7/10.
My review:

Collapse )
Books

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale.

{68AEEBA6-0C29-4CE7-9D0B-66973CD242CB}Img400

Title: Midnight in Austenland.
Author: Shannon Hale.
Genre: Fiction, chick lit, romance, mystery, humour.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2012.
Summary: Charlotte Kinder is in need of true escape when she heads from Ohio to Pembrook Park, a Jane Austen-themed retreat in the British countryside. But as it turns out, this vacation is no time to relax. Hearts are racing and stomachs fluttering in a tangle of intrigues - real and pretend, sinister and romantic - increasingly tough to sort out. It's midnight in Austenland, and Charlotte is about to prove herself a heroine worthy of Austen herself.

My rating: 5.5/10
My review:

Collapse )