No. 1 With a Bullet: Un-Su Kim’s The Plotters

No. 1 With a Bullet: Un-Su Kim’s The Plotters

Reading Un-Su Kim's The Plotters, I really thought there'd be more assassinations. The book, which was originally released in 2010 and eventually translated into English in 2019, tracks the adventures of Reseng, a contract killer. Abandoned by his parents and raised by an assassin, Reseng falls into a life of murder and though he commits [...]

A Simple Truth: Meaghan O’Connell’s And Now We Have Everything

A Simple Truth: Meaghan O’Connell’s And Now We Have Everything

Meaghan O'Connell's slim memoir, And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready should probably be required reading for every millennial considering having children and for most who already do. O'Connell's unpretentious prose demystifies and de-romanticizes the pop culture vision of pregnancy: This is not a book about feeling glowing and radiant or [...]

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi Was Written Just for Me

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi Was Written Just for Me

I've never met Susanna Clarke, the reclusive British author best known for her massive and wonderful 2004 historical fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and so she can't knowingly have written her most recent novel, Piranesi, just for me. But it sure feels like she did. Piranesi is an epistolary novel told through the [...]

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor and the Surrender of Power

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor and the Surrender of Power

Hank Green's A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is a complex story. An alien hive intelligence, the perils of social media celebrity and a talking monkey are among the natural headline fodder of the plot's explosive adventure. Beyond that, it's legitimately astounding that Green managed to release a book in mid-2020 that is so keenly attuned to [...]

The Magic of Allusions

The Magic of Allusions

Rocannon's World may not be one of the first dozen Ursula K. Le Guin books that I'd recommend but the novel did birth a legacy that, rather appropriately, stretches through time from the story's 1966 publication through the present day. Needing a means of communication that could bridge the time-dilation gap of faster than light [...]