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Born and raised in Tempe, Jason is an avid reader and an aspiring writer who dreams of one day getting his own stories published. Whether he's reading a story or writing one, he enjoys fiction of many varieties, but his favorite genres are fantasy, mystery, and especially horror — whether it's a supernatural bogeyman or an all-too-real serial killer, he loves the childlike sense of fear and suspense that a good horror novel can evoke in him. He's not picky, though; he'll read just about anything as long as it's written well. When he's not busy with words and books, he might be found playing video games, browsing the internet, or diving into a swimming pool. He also spends as much time as possible listening to music, and is always on the lookout for his next favorite band.
Very few books have ever inspired my imagination quite like this one. This is the classic story of Bastian Balthazar Bux, a troubled young boy who reads The Neverending Story and is transported through it to the world of Fantastica, a world of wonder where wishes come true. Any reader who follows in his footsteps will journey to incredible places, meet delightful characters, and discover marvelous creatures. It is a grand and thrilling adventure, and one I will always hold dear. There is real magic in these pages: the magic of reading, the sorcery of stories, the power of creativity and imagination. No other book has ever captured that magic so beautifully. The Neverending Story stands as one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time.
Science fiction and religion collide when the viewers of a popular Christian television program are threatened by the sinister plot of the giant purple alien lobsters from Planet Qualimosa, whose secular sensibilities are offended by the program’s superstitious content. Sound ridiculous? Good, because it is – in the best way possible. The Madonna and the Starship is unpredictable, delightful, and hilarious, and on more than one occasion it reduced me to a giggling mess. But don’t underestimate it: James Morrow’s playful and lighthearted romp through philosophy has a lot more depth than you might expect. In the tradition of great satire, this charming little oddball of a novel made me think almost as much as it made me laugh. When I wasn’t too caught up in my uncontrollable fits of hysteria, I was struck by surprisingly potent ideas and unexpectedly touching morals that genuinely made me feel better about the world I live in. Also, have I mentioned that it features giant purple alien lobsters?
As a general rule, I don’t spend much time reading nonfiction, but something about Smartcuts caught my attention, and I had to see what it was about. I’m glad I did, because it ended up being one of the most interesting and thought provoking books I’ve read in a very long time. In order to demonstrate his principles for success – not shortcuts, but smartcuts – Shane Snow examines the success stories of prominent figures in various fields ranging from fashion to rocket science. The conclusions he draws are relevant to all of us, relating not only to business strategy but to problem solving and lateral thinking in general. This book is full of fascinating ideas, inspiring true stories, entertaining tidbits, and compelling insight, all presented in an engaging style that kept my attention riveted. I couldn’t put it down.
This experimental, genre-bending paradox of a novel messed with my head in more ways than I can count. Between the bizarre formatting of the text, the convoluted and layered nature of the narrative, and the twisted nightmare maze of the plot itself, every element conspires to unbalance you, and it is dazzlingly effective. Before long, you’ll feel like you’re trapped in the House of Leaves yourself, lost in the chaos of its labyrinthine darkness, gasping for air. This is one of the most challenging books I have ever read, but also one of the most rewarding. No other book has ever affected me so profoundly; when I finished it, I felt transformed and enlightened. Along the way, I was dizzied by its madness, disturbed by its horrors, amazed by its power, intrigued by its ideas, and enchanted by its exquisite beauty, sometimes all at once. I was, quite simply, obsessed – and I loved every minute of it. I found a home for myself in this grand palace of demented imagination, and I never want to leave. Join me inside, won’t you?
In order to get his novel published, all Billy Ridgeway has to do is save the world by stealing a magical cat figurine from the most powerful warlock on the Eastern Seaboard and hand it over to Lucifer for safekeeping. With a premise like that, do I really even need to say anything else? The Weirdness pretty much sells itself. Bushnell’s zany tale is quirky, unpredictable, hysterical, ridiculous, and downright fun. I read it with manic glee, delighted by its every twist and turn. I couldn't wipe the grin off my face.
Whimsical, magical, and above all else musical, 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas is composed like a love song about life itself, with a blissfully infectious melody and a beat you can’t help but dance to. Debut novelist Marie-Helene Bertino writes with tender warmth, playful wit, and profound wisdom. In a world that is becoming increasingly fixated on cynicism and darkness, she dares to be open, sincere, and optimistic. Her voice is a breath of fresh air, soulful and emotional, singing sparkling notes of hope and passion. Her writing style is colorful and lively. Her characters are charming and lovable. The story is disarmingly beautiful and deeply moving. In every way, this book is a rare and wonderful treasure, an absolute delight to read. It left me feeling renewed, refreshed, and utterly alive. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
First of all, a warning: this book is not for everyone. If you have any religious sensibilities (or any sensibilities at all, really,) there’s a good chance this book will rub you the wrong way at some point or another. Filled with sin and debauchery, this is one of the most irreverent and offensive books I have ever read. Sometimes it is extremely crude. Sometimes it is downright disgusting. Almost constantly it is blasphemous. But it is also brilliant, insightful, thought-provoking, and utterly hilarious. In this edgy masterpiece of modern satire, the devil walks the Earth in human form, telling his side of the story and enjoying the carnal pleasures of being human along the way. His antics had me alternately ruminating, cringing, and rolling with laughter. The wit and wisdom of Glen Duncan never fails to amaze me, and in my humble opinion, this novel is his crowning achievement. Fans of Chuck Palahniuk will love it. Approach with caution, but read it if you dare.
Finally, for the first time ever, Newbery Medal winner The Giver and its companion novels are gathered together in a single volume – and what a gorgeous volume it is! Complete with a beautiful embossed cover, distinctive red page edgings, and an elegant ribbon bookmark, this omnibus edition of Lois Lowry’s classic series will make a fine addition to any collector’s bookshelf. The Giver is one of my all-time favorite books, and I can’t wait to read it again alongside all three of its excellent sequels. I probably don’t need to tell you how wonderful these stories are, but if you haven’t read them before, do yourself a favor and read them now. Rest assured: you’re in for a treat.
Fear of the unknown has rarely been so potent or so moving. As a longtime horror fan, I've become somewhat jaded to the genre, and it has gotten increasingly difficult for ‘scary stories’ to actually scare me, but the bleak atmosphere and ominous dread of Bird Box made me genuinely uneasy. Josh Malerman is relentless. He had me by the throat from page one, and he just kept tightening his grip until I was helpless in his grasp, compelled to keep reading despite feeling a constant anxiety about what I might find waiting for me on the next page. The unseen menace haunting this book has a very real presence, nightmarish and unsettling, eerie and disquieting; I couldn't close my eyes, but I was afraid to keep them open. With ever-mounting tension and a deeply sinister edge, Bird Box is a masterpiece of modern literary horror.
It’s a rare breed of horror novel that can give me chills in the middle of an Arizona Spring, but in spite of a hundred degrees worth of dry heat outside, reading Christopher Golden’s Snowblind left me frigid. I could almost feel the snow on my skin, and the icy dread was as real for me as it was for the people of Coventry, trapped in the winter of Golden’s spectral blizzard. Reminiscent of Dean Koontz at his absolute best, this modern classic of supernatural horror is haunting and vivid, a nightmare as elegant and emotional as it is eerie. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to enjoy snow again without wondering what might be hiding in the whiteout…
When a student at an esteemed university shoots a respected and tenured sociology professor and then takes his own life, the question on everybody’s mind is, why? If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to put this book down until you find out the answer. With an understated but powerful sense of suspense, this refreshingly original psychological mystery had me reeled in before I even realized that I had swallowed the hook. Every bit as dark as its title implies, The Black Hour is driven by tortured characters who are truly alive and genuinely human. Debut novelist Lori Rader-Day explores these characters with the diligence of a research scientist and the flair of an artist, and through them, she is able to weave a unique and compelling plot that will keep you reading well into the darkest hours of the night.
In his potent debut novel, Paul Rome leads us on an intimate tour through the midlife crisis of Tom Claughlin: successful union lawyer, charming father, passionate lover, and a man with too much to lose. As the story unfolds, Rome writes with poisonous subtlety and unnerving poise, approaching darkness not in desperate leaps and staggering lurches but with a calm, controlled stride that challenges us to reexamine all of our preconceived notions of morality. This is a rare book, easy to read but deeply thought-provoking, the blank spaces between the lines overflowing with meaning. Don’t let its length fool you–this short, blisteringly fast read will haunt you long after you’ve turned the last page.