Ask the Editors: One Week to Go
Less than a week to go before Mother's Day, Ask the Editors recommendations find us leaving the shores of multi-generational epics and historical fiction for the weirder worlds of magical realism and non-fiction that's almost too incredible to believe. We've got a lot more recommendations to get through, and we'll continue answering until Friday, May 6th -- so leave your reader profiles in the comments, or on our Facebook page.
Zoe asks: Favorite books and authors are Lord of the Rings, Three Musketeers, Henty adventures, the Bible, plus Harry Potter and the Mrs. Jeffries mystery stories. She likes Hope Was Here and A Long Way From Chicago and the Percy Jackson books. She likes travel and designing houses and architecture. She reads really fast and I can't think of a book she hasn't read except she doesn't like vampires and bloody blow-them-up movies. She likes old movies and quirky movies. She likes to think a lot and drink tea and write on the computer.
From me: Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier. Frazier calls Siberia "the greatest horrible country in the world," which he means entirely as a compliment. To most people, Siberia just means gulags and prison camps, but Frazier also discovers medieval battlegrounds, crumbling industrial cities, and teenaged border guards with an inflated sense of authority. Probably the best part of the book is Frazier's sense of humor, which is most on display when dealing with his two half-trustworthy guides and their broken-down tour van.
From Kevin: If you want to explore as many locales as possible from your armchair, The Best American Travel Writing series is always a safe bet. My favorite edition is actually from 2006, with Tim Cahill as the guest editor, and a few great stories from big names: Alain de Botton, George Saunders, David Sedaris, and Gary Shteyngart.
From Mari: It sounds like she might enjoy one of our Best of the Month picks for May, Caleb's Crossing. In Martha's Vineyard in 1660, minister's daughter Bethia Mayfield befriends the son of a Wampanoag chief, teaching him to read from her prayer book, learning his language, and giving him the English name Caleb. Their secret friendship becomes a lifelong bond that follows them both to Cambridge, where Caleb becomes the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Pulitzer winner Geraldine Brooks is a master of bringing forgotten pieces of history to vivid life, creating characters that feel both true to their time and compellingly alive.
From Seira: If she enjoys travel and the Percy Jackson books, I recommend Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles series, the second book of which, The Throne of Fire, is out tomorrow. Egyptian mythology, world travel, and magic, packed into a high-speed adventure with witty banter and levity make for a fast and fun read.
Also from Seira: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is another one--a delightfully quirky mystery set in 1985 Great Britain, a 1985 Great Britain in which an arch criminal is stealing characters from England’s rich literary history, and holding them for ransom. An alternate history that appeals especially to bibliophiles, The Eyre Affair is the first book in the Thursday Next series, so there are plenty more to keep her going.
One week to go, but we'll be here, recommending away, until the end.