Showing posts from April, 2023

Four books I read this spring: Exit, Ghost; Potential of Radio and Rain; The Bruising of Qilwa, and Liar, Dreamer, Thief

  Four beautiful books that I read this spring, with reviews.     Exit, Ghost by Jennifer R. Donohue   This is the modern fantasy retelling of Hamlet which I never knew I needed, set on the Jersey Shore with a snarky gender-flipped Hamlet and her dog named Yorick, a vivid cast of characters, and witches and dark magic galore. A deeply atmospheric, immersive story of grief, loss, love, mystery, doubt, and revenge.   Juliet “Jules” Duncan is heiress to a railroad fortune, a recent college graduate, and a witch. When we first meet her, she’s still recovering from the gun attack which killed her father in his own apple orchard, and which left her with a brain injury. She’s reeling from grief, and she’s just conducted a ritual to summon her father’s spirit, who tells her that his murderer is long-time family friend (and his widow’s new fiancĂ©), “Uncle” Hector.   One of the pleasures of this book is seeing how the author translates specific plot points and characters from Ha

Short fiction recs! January--February 2023

  It’s been a busy (and still cold!) spring, and this round-up is later than usual. Nevertheless, here are some stories that I read over January and February—stories strange and dark, warm and hopeful, rich and lovely. Stories of Memories, Dreams, and Nightmares "Flower, Daughter, Soil, Seed"   by Eugenia Triantafyllou in Uncanny Magazine Your great-great-grandmother was a yellow daffodil. Where she was born people called her narcissus. Her many heads blossomed from a loamy opening in the forest on a particularly chill spring day. They rose hungrily, searching for a few precious rays of sunlight. Her stems pushed against each other and against the cold wind.   A flower is born, and dies. But from her death a daughter springs forth, with memories of her mother. This is a gorgeous story of survival, migration, resilience, and change.   And it’s also a story of coming home, of both finding and accepting sweetness and love.   “Tell Me the Meaning of Bees” by Amal Sin