Marly Youmans: The Throne of Psyche
Poetry: myth, rites of passage and family. A brilliant weaving of ancient tales with modern life.
Jeanine Cummins: The Outside Boy
A beautiful coming of age novel of a "Traveller" child in Ireland of the late 40's.
Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus
A romantic tale of two battling magicians whose creation becomes a mysterious and whimsical circus.
John M. Marzluff: Dog Days, Raven Nights
Drawn from Marzluff's extensive field notes, this is a fascinating account of his research on the Common Raven in Western Maine. Beautiful illustrations as well.
Guy Consolmagno, S.J.: God's Mechanics
Noted Jesuit Vatican Astronomer and self proclaimed geek (big fan of SF and Fantasy Lit too!) discusses the relationship between science and faith. Funny and insightful.
The Heavens Proclaim: Astronomy and the Vatican
A series of terrific and inspiring essays on Astronomy and Physics from the Jesuit Vatican Astronomers.
Gil Adamson: The Outlander
Gorgeous novel about a young widow fleeing her murderous kin at the turn of the 1900s. Taut, elegant prose, a relentless pace -- and a remarkable heroine.
Karen Russell: St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
A collection of magic realist short stories set in strange backwater towns. In the title story packs of wild girls are gathered into dormitories where they must shed their raucous and gleeful wolfish natures to become domesticated young women with very mixed results.
Robert Olmstead: Coal Black Horse
Haunting and powerful novel of the Civil War: A hill boy's mythic search to find his father on a battlefield while the war and its devastation threaten to destroy him. Olmstead's prose is exquisite, the dialogue pitch perfect.
Nathaniel Rich: The Mayor's Tongue
A quirky first novel about the search for a missing author who may or may not exist. The writing is beautiful and very evocative.
Salman Rushdie: The Enchantress of Florence: A Novel
Another sumptuous novel from Rushdie.
Padma Viswanathan: The Toss of a Lemon
A wonderful novel of the private history of a prominent Brahmin family.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón: The Shadow of the Wind
A haunting, magical realist novel about the passion for secret books.
Luis Alberto Urrea: Into the Beautiful North: A Novel
Inspired watching the movie The Magnificent Seven, a young woman leaves her village in Sinaloa, Mexico and travels north looking for her father and seven Mexican warriors to bring home to small town and save it from the drug lords. A fast and funny novel with a rich cast of characters. Read the longer review here.
Geraldine Brooks: March
A haunting Civil War novel -- told between the lines of a well-known American Classic, Little Women. March, the absent father of the "little women," recounts his experiences in battle, in the bloody hospitals, and in the decaying, corrupt mansions of the post-war South. An extraordinary and moving novel.
Arturo Perez-Reverte: The King's Gold
A terrific new novel of the continuing adventures of 17th c Spain's Captain Alatriste. A veteran of the thirty years war, the Captain is offered a dangerous mission to "liberate" the King's Gold from a secret trading ship. Fast paced, witty, and sanguinary. Longer review found here
Flannery O'Connor: Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose
A collection of terrific essays on writing from one of America's most compelling short story authors.
Italo Calvino: Cosmicomics
Calvino's imaginary depiction of the origins of the universe combining mathematics, atoms, dark matter, the moon and planets with sexual awakening, cooking, art, and longing. Gorgeous.
Rabih Alameddine: The Hakawati
This sumptuous novel (whose title roughly translates as "story teller") by Lebanese author Alameddine combines a richly imagined family history juxtaposed with the great mythic tales of the middle east. It is a celebration of the region's cultural bounty and the powerful bonds of love in one amazing family. Read the full reivew here.