From a “pre-9/11 novel that one can only read with a post-9/11 sensibility” to a new middle grade novel from Karen Cushman (author of The Midwife’s Apprentice and Catherine, Called Birdy), this week we’re highlighting many new titles on BookPage.com. A few of the highlights (click on the book titles to read more):
Review of Willy Vlautin’s Lean on Pete
Reading a Willy Vlautin novel feels a lot like sitting in the bar talking with Willy Vlautin. And it feels a lot like listening to the songs he writes with his band, Richmond Fontaine. The author’s previous two novels, The Motel Life and Northline, shared stories with a couple of Richmond Fontaine songs. So does his newest, Lean on Pete, but in this one Vlautin makes room for even more bad luck to plague his main character. In his books, though, bad luck always comes with good stories.
Review of Teddy Wayne’s Kapitoil
Teddy Wayne’s Kapitoil is a startlingly funny, intelligent and poignant pre-9/11 novel that one can only read with a post-9/11 sensibility. Set in a blissfully naïve 1999 Manhattan where Y2K is the impending crisis on the mind, Wayne’s debut is both a comic skewering of American capitalism and an honest account of a city—indeed, a way of life—that is about to change forever.
Review of Karen Cushman’s Alchemy and Meggy Swann
Meggy Swann is appalled by the bustle and filth of Elizabethan London when her father, an alchemist who doesn’t set much store by truth or integrity, summons her to the city to work as his apprentice. Meggy has been used to living a secluded life in a country village with only her grandmother and her goose Louise as friends. With her crippled legs, Meggy has endured taunts and threats, but her father’s utter contempt for her surpasses all the difficult experiences of her past.
Which will you read first?