We, the People of the Clouds

Marlon is enjoying his afterlife spending Perpetual Sunday relaxing on Infinite Beach, when a glitch in the system spurs him to action and leads him to discover some important details about the beforelife that he'd forgotten. This book isn't the first to explore the idea of achieving an eternal afterlife by storing human consciousness in computers, but it is a well-executed story that adds some interesting aspects to the basic idea.

Author: 

Simon Kewin

Full House

This is a quick-reading novella about a woman who is feeling taken for granted by her adult children, who are still living in their modest family home in Dublin. Binchy has a knack for capturing everyday life, and this book is no exception, which makes it an enjoyable read even though sometimes the story feels like more of a sketch than a fully formed story. When it is a sketch, it is at least a very good sketch!

Author: 

Maeve Binchy

A Few Administrative Updates

I have a few administrative updates I want to share.

An Etiquette Guide to the End Times

The dystopic near term future imagined in this book is so believable it is a little bit scary, but the light-hearted and down to earth tone of the first person narration makes this a fun and engaging read nonetheless. Set in Toronto a few years after the consequences of ignoring global warming become obvious, the story follows Olive as her already rearranged world is rattled again when the somewhat authoritarian central city government wants her to turn her successful internet etiquette column into a state-sponsored radio show.

Author: 

Maia Sepp

Homelands

This is a thought-provoking look at the arbitrary nature of political borders, and the human toll they create. It does not delve into the policy implications of changing our current system, but instead makes a moral argument that we cannot ignore the suffering the system is causing. It is not a book that intends to give answers. It instead forces us to grapple with the morality of our current system, and encourages us to think about what other systems might be possible.

Author: 

Stephan Faris

The Nun, The Gun, and Tom Mix

The plot of this charming novella sounds surreal when summarized: a somewhat unsuccessful American man whose mother always told him that his father was Tom Mix falls in love with the music of a Mexican band called Los Gatos Negros, and when he hears that they are in danger from the drug cartels, decides to head to Mexico to rescue them. Meanwhile, the head nun in a convent in a little Mexican town is struggling to deal with the departure of their priest, and the head of one of the drug cartels is longing to leave that all behind and live the life of an artist.

Author: 

Suda J. Prohaska

Come See the Mountain

This book is not easy to categorize, but in a way, that is part of its strength. It is about Cerro Rico, a silver mining mountain in Potosi, Bolivia, which has been mined since the time of the Conquistadors. The book looks at the mining operations and also at the tourism industry that has been developed to allow tourists to visit the mines and get a taste of the conditions under which the miners work. Zoellner weaves in a discussion of the larger phenomenon of "dark tourism" (visiting sites associated with death and/or suffering), as well. It is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book.

Author: 

Tom Zoellner

What to Do When You Can't Leave a Book Behind

I've been running this site for well over a year now, and have been thinking about it or working on it for close to two years.

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo

The plot of this story is fun, but the real charm is the lead character, who is well-drawn, believable, and downright delightful. Jade Yeo is an ambitious young writer, recently arrived from Malaysia, and working to make a life for herself in London. This is a romance story set in 1920s London, and like many romances, there is some sex- but if that is not your thing, you can easily skip that scene.

Author: 

Zen Cho

Mr. Dodge, Mr. Hitchcock, and the French Riviera

This is a quirky little history, focusing on the back story of the classic Cary Grant movie, "To Catch a Thief." It starts with the story of David Dodge, the man who wrote the book on which the movie was based. He was an interesting man who lived the sort of life that many people wish they could live, so this portion is perhaps the most interesting section of the book for the general reader. Fans of the movie are likely to enjoy the behind the scenes look at its filming, too.

Author: 

Jean Buchanan

Subscribe to Tungsten Hippo RSS