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[Short Reviews] April Favorites

Hello, friends! Spring is always a busy time of year, and this year was no exception. Between the Houston Rodeo and a quick trip home to Indiana, it was harder than usual to squeeze in extra reading time. Also this month, I attended a reading by the amazingly talented Margaret Atwood during her visit to Houston. While she couldn’t share details of her follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, it was definitely the highlight of the month!

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Rosewater by Tade Thompson: Set in Nigeria, Rosewater is a futuristic town built along the edges of a mysterious alien bio-dome with healing powers. Part science fiction, part spy thriller, Rosewater is as engaging as it is intriguing, promising readers an atmospheric look into first contact and delivering far beyond any reader’s wildest dreams. (5 Stars)

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: Barely a teenager and serving a life sentence, Grace Marks has become a murderess of notoriety, but is she truly guilty of the crime? Her account takes center-stage when a young, and eager, doctor is hired to prove her innocence. Alongside the doctor, readers are forced to decipher fact from fiction as Grace depicts herself as both innocent and devious alike. Having read both The Blind Assassin and The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m in awe of Margaret Atwood’s ability to write a character so profound, she truly lives and breathes. (5 Stars)

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Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen: On a maddening, quixotic journey across the streets of New York to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, renowned psychologist Dr. Leo Liebenstein will stop at nothing to find his precious Rema, but when her doppelganger joins the chase, he’ll find himself at a loss for action. Does he stay the course, or make peace with his wife’s replacement? There’s nothing I love more than an unreliable narrator, and Dr. Leo is one of the best I’ve read. Exceptionally convincing, I struggled to distinguish what was perceived, and what was truly a dark, and despairing descent into madness. Perhaps his wife really was replaced by the nefarious Royal Academy of Meteorology? (4 Stars)

The Binding by Bridget Collins: A creative new take on the mysticism of literature, The Binding is, at the very least, intriguing. From the start, Collins’ imaginative world pulled me in as I tried to understand the binder’s role in society and the stigma surrounding their work. But, after a sudden change in narration and a long, drawn-out twist, the pace slowed dramatically toward the ending, which felt somewhat unfinished. (3 Stars)

What are you reading?

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