So far, my favorite of the books from the Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2017. A family (two children and a bare-knuckle brawling father) living in the woods on the fringes of British society, but eventually regular society finds a way to infiltrate their happiness. The last scene is one that will be burned into my memory for a long time to come.
I read this when I was in Badlands National Park, right near the reservation where the events took place. The killing is told from both perspectives, what the Native Americans have disclosed and what the FBI suspects happened. Most importantly, the history of the Pine Ridge Reservation is compelling and haunting, pointing out the historic and systemic racism that has plagued Native American culture.
A soul is given 10,000 attempts to achieve perfection, but no one tells Milo this until after attempt 9,995. Milo revisits some of his former lives, both historical and futuristic, and falls in love with Death along the way. I found this book to be enjoyable, humorous, and philosophical all at once. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for Michael Poore's next work.
Theroux is one of the authors who got me into travel writing. Theroux was with the Peace Corps in Africa in the 60s and 70s. In Dark Star Safari, he returns to the Green Continent and travels by land through Egypt and the Western countries, eventually winding up in South Africa to see more of the place he grew to love, and to see how much the world has changed, and how much he has changed as well.
This beautifully illustrated tale is from the future, where people have become consumed by their technology. A boy and his robot travel through the dangerous terrain of the west. A cautionary tale about the addictive nature of social media and gaming, but honestly, the drawings alone make it worth the read, from ruinous landscapes to tormented robots and everything in between.
This title turned out completely different than I thought it would, but it was remarkable regardless. Gretel is taking care of her mother (Sarah) who suffers from Alzheimer's. Many years ago, Sarah had abandoned Gretel, and Gretel is retelling the story of the hunt for her mother. A dark read, and while I could see the shape of the twist coming, I could not have imagined its entirety.
Part Agatha Christie, part Groundhogs Day, we witness the same murder from eight different pairs of eyes and try to figure out who pulls the trigger before it actually happens. There were a few twists and turns in here that kept me reading through the night, trying to figure out the clues for myself.
What did it take to become an astronaut in the 1960s, when the term was being defined? Tom Wolfe went in-depth researching the incredible bravery and courage of those who became the first in space, from the experimental rocket-plane pilots, to the training grounds, to the flights of the Mercury series itself. This is a great read for any lover of space, or for anyone who likes a good adventure.
Part coming of age story, part revenge tale, a family living on the edge of civilization in backwoods Australia must do whatever they can to survive. This book reads like a Western, but the race relations of the outback are a central focal point of the story, something that reads relevant even today. The scenery is described in sparse details that bring the whole story together. Expertly written.