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Exploring Commodity Culture in Modern Asia: A Tale for the Time Being and Crazy Rich Asians
Adult Books / Books / Literary Fiction

Exploring Commodity Culture in Modern Asia: A Tale for the Time Being and Crazy Rich Asians

A number of high profile Asia-oriented titles have dominated this spring and summer’s publication cycles. Back in March, veteran writer Ruth Ozeki published her long-awaited next novel, A Tale for the Time Being. In contrast, Crazy Rich Asians, released in June, is Kevin Kwan’s debut. The two books are united, however, by the theme of … Continue reading

Love Triangles in Young Adult Fiction: A Brief and Sordid History
Historial Tidbits / Publishing Trends / Young Adult

Love Triangles in Young Adult Fiction: A Brief and Sordid History

The fact that love triangles have become an almost ever-present cliche in today’s young adult fiction is difficult to deny, particularly when examining a list of recent commercial hits. The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The Iron Fey books by Julie Kagawa. The … Continue reading

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls and New American Humor
Adult Books / Books / Collected Essays / Humor

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls and New American Humor

It takes a certain special sense of humor to enjoy the works of David Sedaris. My mother, for example, would likely find his books vulgar and distasteful, as would many men and women in their later years. Even so, Sedaris’s wacky, darker sense of humor is not usually what I find entertaining. There is something … Continue reading

Rithmatists vs. Paper Gods: Art, Fantasy, and Paranormal YA
Books / Contemporary / Fantasy / Paranormal / Young Adult

Rithmatists vs. Paper Gods: Art, Fantasy, and Paranormal YA

Two of the biggest YA titles of this summer landed on the literary scene in a splash of ink and chalk dust. Both authors, in a sense, are newcomers to the young adult space. While Brandon Sanderson is a household name among readers of adult fantasy books, with his epic MistbornĀ series and his connection to … Continue reading

George Sand in Culture: 5 Ways to Celebrate Her Life and Work
Adult Books / Book Humor / Books / Books in Culture / Contemporary Fiction / Historial Tidbits / Non-Fiction

George Sand in Culture: 5 Ways to Celebrate Her Life and Work

Author, militant, journalist, political agitator, friend of musicians, lover, artist, and baroness, George Sand lived with revolutionary flair for a woman in 19th-century France. Reviled and regaled by her contemporaries, Sand is celebrated as a prolific writer and a role model for contemporary women, balancing family life, love, and a multifaceted career. On today, her … Continue reading

Eloisa James Scales Her Best Fairy Tales Romance Yet in Once Upon A Tower
Adult Books / Books / Romance

Eloisa James Scales Her Best Fairy Tales Romance Yet in Once Upon A Tower

The fifth book in Eloisa James’s Fairy Tales series, Once Upon A Tower breaks in part with a pattern of fanciful, largely jovial courtships, opting instead for a darker, more serious angle that adds a zest of originality to the romance genre and the series. It would be interesting to know if the more somber … Continue reading

Stretching the Bonds of Sister Love: Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy
Adult Books / Books / Historical Fiction / Literary Fiction

Stretching the Bonds of Sister Love: Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy

An American writer with Chinese-American heritage, Lisa See drew broad attention for her earlier work Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005). This book, and subsequent titles, have propelled her toward the ranks of widely-respected Chinese/Chinese-American historical fiction authors, like the famous Amy Tan of The Joy Luck Club. Like Tan, See focuses on women’s … Continue reading