GPL Blog

Book Review | The Dark Library by Cyrille Martinez

From the publisher: Libraries are magical places. But what if they’re even more magical than we know? In Cyrille Martinez’s library, the books are alive: not just their ideas or their stories, but the books themselves. Meet the Angry Young Book, who has strong opinions about who reads what and why. He’s tired of people reading bestsellers, so he places himself on the desks of those who might appreciate him. Meet the Old Historian who mysteriously vanished from the stacks. Meet the Blue Librarian, the Mauve Librarian, the Yellow Librarian, and spend a day with the Red Librarian trying to banish coffee cups and laptops. Then one day there are no empty desks anywhere in the Great Library.

Cyrille Martinez is very obviously writing from the perspective of a librarian who has heard…

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Book Review | Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin

From the publisher: It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives: a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape. The two form an uneasy relationship. When she agrees to accompany him on trips to discover an “authentic” Korea, they visit snowy mountaintops and dramatic waterfalls, and cross into North Korea. As she’s pulled into his vision and taken in by his drawings, she strikes upon a way to finally be seen. An exquisitely-crafted debut, which won the Prix Robert Walser, Winter in Sokcho is a novel about shared identities and divided selves, vision and blindness, intimacy and alienation. Elisa Shua Dusapin’s voice is distinctive and unmistakable.

Did I pick this one up because I judged a book by its cover? Yes…

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Book Review | The Upstairs House by Julia Fine

From the publisher: In this provocative meditation on new motherhood—Shirley Jackson meets The Awakening—a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown.

The Upstairs House is Julia Fine’s second novel, although it’s the first of hers that I’ve read. But by golly, I’m going to go pick up her first one now because this was so hard to put down, it should have been titled anti-gravity (get it? Because I couldn’t put it down?). Fine’s depiction of early motherhood and postpartum psychosis is stomach-churning and it feels so real–I’ve never had kids, never really wanted kids, and yet I felt a connection to this…

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Book Review | American Delirium by Betina González

From the Publisher: From award-winning novelist Argentine Betina González comes a dizzying, luminous English-language debut about an American town overrun by a mysterious hallucinogen and the collision of three unexpected characters through the mayhem.

If you’re the kind of reader who needs a plot with lots of action, steer clear. I mean, yeah, the deer have all gone wacko and are attacking people, and people are “dropping out” of society and living in the woods, but this isn’t action-packed by any means. But if you’re okay with stewing in the discomfort of your own inevitable aging or the nagging need to escape anything and/or everything? Yeah, pick this one up. Although, probably don’t pick…

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