- Category: Ron
The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld
Denfeld’s follow-up to The Child Finder, which the NYT Book Review described as “Deliverance encased in ice.”
Naomi Cottle is a private investigator in the Pacific NW with a haunting backstory who specializes in finding missing children. Taking place in present day Portland, Oregon, Naomi’s search for her own missing sister brings her into contact with a group of homeless children, including 12 year old Celia, who disassociates from her painful reality by seeing butterflies all around her. While the search for her sister is paramount, Naomi finds herself drawn in to the tragedy of children’s bodies surfacing in the waters around Portland. I’d not read The Child Finder, and you needn’t for this book to make sense, but I’ll be reading it next. Denfeld is great at building suspense, evoking a sense of place, understanding the contradictions found within most people and adept at leaving out a lot of the ridiculous tropes all too common in most commercial thrillers.
Adult Fiction Hardcover pr3313018
- Category: Ron
More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of L.A Punk by John Doe
Picking up where Under the Big Black Sun left off, a look at the LA punk music scene is told by multiple voices and viewpoints, in short chapters and as oral history. The decline of the punk scene is chronicled, which could be summed up as hair bands winning the local civil war and taking over control of the Sunset Strip. The strength of this collection is the diversity of the voices having their say: along with musicians from the Go-Go’s, Bangles, Black Flag and Plimsouls, filmmaker Allison Anders, actor Tim Robbins, skateboarder Tony Hawk and artist Shepard Fairey all add their memories and perspectives. A fun, energetic read about a vital DIY cultural scene that thrived beneath the belly of the shiny Hollywood beast in another era.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2756774
Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
Another smart standalone novel from Lippman, this one set in 1966 Baltimore, where a woman who seems to have everything leaves her marriage of 20 years and tries to create a meaningful, passionate life for herself. As with her most recent novels – Sunburn and Wilde Lake – Lippman is a master at combining noir elements with psychological suspense, in books with the reading appeal of airport thrillers, with social and cultural commentary seamlessly woven in. They’re something like the literary equivalent of junk food that’s good for you – a seeming contradiction or impossibility that this author somehow manages ro pull off again and again.
Adult Fiction Hardcover pr2752713
- Category: Ron
I Like to Watch by Emily Nussbaum
A collection of new and previously published essays by The New Yorker’s Pulitzer Prize winning culture critic. Nussbaum is my favourite sort of critic: someone thinking out loud, obsessive, occasionally veering towards strident with mad enthusiasm, capable of making you re-examine your opinion, and open your mind to go places it wouldn’t if left without her. While these essays focus on Peak TV, they can’t help but touch upon movies, pop culture, and a piece written for this collection looks at #MeToo. Nussbaum is married to Canadian journalist and author Clive Thompson, which makes for the sort of dinner and TV night invite I’d like to receive.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2660384
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The oral history of a fictional 1970s rock group, from their coming of age in the late sixties to a sudden and mysterious break-up after striking commercial and critical gold. Written in the style of a celebrity tell-all memoir, Daisy Jones & The Six’s story is so convincingly told by Reid, it’s easy to forget they’re a fictional creation (although they certainly evoke Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac). You’ll end up wanting to go buy their album, find that Rolling Stone cover and see what can be found on YouTube. A cast of 21 (!) reads the book on cd version, and is mostly perfect, especially Jennifer Beals as Daisy. And while this is a fun read it would be wrong to think of it as nothing but fluff and entertainment, given that it deals with serious themes including addiction, marriage, adultery, parental abandonment and unrequited love. A Dewey Diva pick, Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
Adult Fiction Audio CD pr2661966