|Sent on:||Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:05 PM|
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Though The Art of Fielding is his fiction debut, Chad Harbach writes with the self-assurance of a seasoned novelist. He exercises a masterful precision over the language and pacing of his narrative, and in some 500 pages, there's rarely a word that feels out of place. The title is a reference to baseball, but Harbach's concern with sports is more than just a cheap metaphor. The Art of Fielding explores relationships--between friends, family, and lovers--and the unpredictable forces that complicate them. There's an unintended affair, a post-graduate plan derailed by rejection letters, a marriage dissolved by honesty, and at the center of the book, the single baseball error that sets all of these events into motion. The Art of Fielding is somehow both confident and intimate, simple yet deeply moving. Harbach has penned one of the year's finest works of fiction
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Erin Morgenstern’s dark, enchanting debut takes us to the black and white tents of Le Cirque des Reves, a circus that arrives without warning, simply appearing when yesterday it was not there. Young Celia and Marco have been cast into a rivalry at The Night Circus, one arranged long ago by powers they do not fully understand. Over time, their lives become more intricately enmeshed in a dance of love, joy, deceit, heartbreak, and magic. Author Morgenstern knows her world inside and out, and she guides the reader with a confident hand. The setting and tone are never less than mesmerizing. The characters are well-realized and memorable. But it is the Night Circus itself that might be the most memorable of all.
Murder Casts A Shadow by A Hawai'i Mystery
New Year's Eve, 1934. While Honolulu celebrates with champagne and fireworks, someone is making away with the Bishop Museum's portrait of King Kalakaua and doing away with its curator. A series of brutal murders follows, and an unlikely pair, newspaper reporter Mina Beckwith and visiting playwright Ned Manusia, find themselves investigating a twisted trail of clues in an attempt to recover the painting and uncover the killer.
Honolulu in the 1930s is a unique (and volatile) mix of the provincial and the urban, East and West, islander and mainlander. Mina and Ned, both of Polynesian descent, confront the complexities and contradictions of Island life as their investigation takes them into the heart of Honolulu society and close-knit local families, whose intricate histories and relationships will have a direct impact on future lives and events. A lively cast of characters aids Mina and Ned in their search for answers: Cecily Chang, an antiques and explosives expert, steers them through Chinatown's back alleys; Hinano Kahana, a hula chanter and dancer, brings Ned closer to solving an ancient riddle; Mina's grandmother, Hannah, helps them unlock a secret from the past.
How Should A Person Be by Sheila Heti
Reeling from a failed marriage, Sheila, a twentysomething playwright, finds herself unsure of how to live and create. When Margaux, a talented painter and free spirit, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, enter her life, Sheila hopes that through close—sometimes too close—observation of her new friend, her new lover, and herself, she might regain her footing in art and life.
Using transcribed conversations, real emails, plus heavy doses of fiction, the brilliant and always innovative Sheila Heti crafts a work that is part literary novel, part self-help manual, and part bawdy confessional. It's a totally shameless and dynamic exploration into the way we live now, which breathes fresh wisdom into the eternal questions: What is the sincerest way to love? What kind of person should you be?