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Staff Picks — Luke

Looking for some recent fiction? Luke has you covered. Check out some of his favorite titles below, and make sure to visit the library, give us a call or search the catalog to put one of these great books on hold today.

HOW HIGH WE GO IN THE DARK by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.

Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for…

Adult, by Luke Gorham, Staff Picks

Book Review | Infinite Country by Patricia Engel

From the publisher: I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family.

How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia’s parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We…

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Book Review | Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

From the publisher: A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

With a film adaptation releasing last week on Netflix, now is as good a time as any to (re)visit Samanta Schweblin’s 2017 novel Fever Dream, particularly given that we’re right smack dab in the middle of Spooky Season. Her concise but powerful work is indeed one of the creepier books to release in the past few years, if somewhat unconventionally so. It opens with a young mother named Amanda awakening in a clinic. She doesn’t know why she is there, she can’t see, she feels like worms are crawling all over and inside of her body, and she is being implored in whispered tones to “remember” and “go back to the…

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Movie Review | Luca directed by Enrico Casarosa

From the distributor: On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Another year, another Pixar flick — the Disney industrial complex abides. Formerly an independent company and then semi-autonomous entity working in collaboration with Disney, Pixar has now been fully under the thumb of the Mouse House monolith for a decade and a half, and it’s fair to wonder how much of the imagination and artistry that distinguished works like Toy Story and WALL·E has been flattened as a direct result of their subsidiarization. Late 2015 inaugurated a run of mid efforts for the company (a deluge of sequels, the stinkers The Good Dinosaur and Onward, and the better but far from tops Coco

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Book Review | No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

From the publisher: As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms “the portal,” where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats–from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness–begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal’s void.

Novels about being Extremely Online have proven to be topical catnip for a bevy of diverse…

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Movie Review | Chaos Walking directed by Doug Liman

From the distributor: Two unlikely companions embark on a perilous adventure through the badlands of an unexplored planet as they try to escape a dangerous and disorienting reality where all thoughts are seen and heard by everyone.

From its conception to this, its theatrical bow at last, Chaos Walking has remained a legitimate oddity. The choice to christen it the next big Young Adult movie franchise was always a dubious one, not least because of its sci-fi gimmick: a world where, due to a native germ on the colonized planet where the film takes place, everyone’s thoughts are heard out loud in a sonic cascade fittingly dubbed “Noise.” It’s a conceit without obvious cinematic application, a built-in problem in need of creative problem-solving. Enter…

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Book Review | Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir

From the publisher: When the witch built the forty-flight tower, she made very sure to do the whole thing properly. Each flight contains a dreadful monster, ranging from a diamond-scaled dragon to a pack of slavering goblins. Should a prince battle his way to the top, he will be rewarded with a golden sword—and the lovely Princess Floralinda. But no prince has managed to conquer the first flight yet, let alone get to the fortieth. In fact, the supply of fresh princes seems to have quite dried up.

Those looking for a quick, easy fantasy read could do worse than Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower. Author Tamsyn Muir made a name for herself with her debut novel Gideon the Ninth, a space opera-fantasy mashup that struck an appealing balance of…

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