A literary history, an American history, a constitutional history. I read Kevin Birmingham's book to learn about the publishing history of one of the most infamous novels of the 20th century. Things I learned: Suppression and flat censorship of literature in America extended well into the 1900s, that our nation once had vice societies designed to control consumption of "unsavory" entertainment, and Ernest Hemingway was a smuggler of contraband. An exempelary book on the importance of free speech and challenging the status quo.
My Struggle is cringe-inducing, family drama, and oversharing to the next level. And I love every word of it. Karl Ove Knausgaard crucifies himself on a page while making his words universal. The book that has mattered to me the most for the past two years.
This is the single most beautiful children's book I've ever read. A poignant rumination on death and the afterlife told through the voyage of a train across the galaxy.
Some people say that classical music is boring and it's clear those people have never read The Rest Is Noise. This book is full to the brim with scandal, murder, and art. No prior musical experience needed.
The longest story in this collection is a mere nine pages. This is a delicate, airy, atmospheric group of concise, open-ended vignettes. They'll never take more than 10 minutes to finish but they'll always leave an impression.
Rare is the thriller as socially critical as it is suspense filled. Out can satisfy someone seeking to understand the patriarchal culture of Japan or the reader looking for a heartracing tale of murder through the killer's eyes.
Knut Hamsun's Pan was my introduction to Norwegian literature. Lieutenant Glahn is a young hunter living in the forest beyond Oslo, then Christiania, eking out a meager living with his dog, Aesop. We see the neuroses of a young man seeking love and happiness. Hamsun is a top-notch prose writer and his characters are always fleshed out and laid bare for his readers to soak in.
Japan is renowned for the short story and Tsushima upholds the legacy for sure. "A Sensitive Season" featured in this collection is probably my favorite short story of all time.
A densely layered mystery involving a man and his missing wife. At once a novel about the collective unconscious, the self, and the polar opposites we find for ourselves. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!