Fiction Feature Friday

Welcome once again to Fiction Feature Friday on the Bschillace Fiction Reboot!

Today, in addition to promoting some new release titles, we will be revisiting some older novels that are well worth reading–again!

NEW RELEASES

I first heard about this Debut YA novel at SCBWI. The author, Lissa Price, has struck gold in terms of a new and fresh idea for dystopia! In a future Los Angeles, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. But when her neurochip malfunctions, she wakes up in the mansion of her rich renter and finds she is going out with a senator’s grandson. It’s a fairy-tale new life, until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan. STARTERS

New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes a look at marriage gone terribly, darkly wrong.  On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears… A mystery of hair-pin turns (and lots of questions about how well we know those we know well) it promises fun summer reading. GONE GIRL

Okay, it isn’t fiction exactly. But I love history and summer is a great time to play catch up. Christmas, 1859.  Darwin gets accused of plagiarism. He had omitted his intellectual forebears, but then again, history had already forgotten many of them. Darwin’s Ghosts tells the story of the collective discovery of evolution, from Aristotle to Al-Jahiz (an Arab writer in the first century)… and many, many more. DARWIN’S GHOSTS

Enjoyed the Sherlockian? The Alienist? You’re going to love this, Scotland Yard fans. Overview: Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . . . THE YARD.

NOT NEW BUT STILL FANTASTIC

Recommended to me by a college student, Tabatha Hanly, this is one of Margaret Atwood’s novels from the MaddAddam Trilogy. A great summary is available at goodreads: Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride.  I have seen wonderful academic papers on this work, and next to Handmaid’s Tale, this might be my Atwood favorite. ORYX and CRAKE

This book was recommended to me by my brother, Joe. It was published in 1996, and chronicles the botching of Armageddon. It’s a bit like Hitchhiker’s Guide went to seminary and then got drunk. I loved it so much that I have already forgiven my brother for his motive in sending me the book (I remind him of the demon). If you need a laugh, look no further than a show-tune loving angel, a rhetoric-loving, (house-plant torturing) demon and an antichrist who really is the “modern day Tom Saywer.” What’s not to love about Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, anyway? GOOD OMENS

Published in 2007, Markus Zusak’s Book Theif has already acquired class status. Set during World War II in Germany, it tracks the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. I am teaching this in a YA Lit class for  new teachers Fall of 2012! BOOK THIEF

If you have books you would like to recommend for the Friday Feature–or if you knew authors (or are one) who would like to be interviewed for our Thursday slot, please let me know!

Now–on to the fun part. Reading them!

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