Matson, Morgan. The Unexpected Everything.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 2016.

This author has earned a place on my “dependable authors” short list when it comes to YA novels. She can take a well-used trope — in this case, the “living with a famous father” theme — and turn it into something original, with well-drawn, in-depth characters. And then she stirs in some off-the-wall, highly cinematic scenes and adroit dialogue, just to keep you hooked.

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Bagieu, Penelope. Exquisite Corpse.

NY: First Second, 2015.

Bagieu is a relatively new French graphic novelist with a not-huge output, but she has already made her mark among both readers and critics. Zoe is a Parisian in her early 20s, working as a spokesmodel at auto shows, and introducing new brands of cheese, and whatever else turns up. Not much of a job but it’s a living. Except then she has to go home to her slobbish skinhead boyfriend, who always leaves his socks on when they have sex.

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Published in: on 30 January 2018 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Heyer, Georgette. Sylvester, or The Wicked Uncle.

NY: Putnam, 1957.

Among other works, Georgette Heyer wrote nearly three dozen “Regency romances.” They have various things in common — a romance (naturally), humor, and an especially well-researched milieu — but they’re not all alike. Far from it.

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McKinnon, Gina. 500 Essential Cult Books: The Ultimate Guide.

NY: Sterling, 2010.

I remember, years ago, being involved in an extended, entirely friendly, but nevertheless intense argument with several friends, fellow science fiction fans, about which were the “best” novels in that field. Not the most literary, nor even the best-written (which might have excluded Heinlein entirely), but the essential books that no one who considered himself a fan could have NOT read. My top choice was (probably still is) Stranger in a Strange Land.

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James, P. D. Unnatural Causes.

NY: Scribner, 1967.

This is only the third of this author’s detective novels and already it’s a considerable improvement over the first two. James was a fast learner. Chief Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh has just completed a difficult and exhausting case and he’s headed for a week’s holiday up in Suffolk with his spinster aunt, Jane. Being rather like Adam in various ways, she’s easy to be around and he’s looking forward to peaceful walks on the beach and sitting quietly by the fireside.

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Published in: on 7 August 2010 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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