New Reads (Oct 27, 2015–)

After Alice by Gregory Maguire
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When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice‘s disappearance? In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings{u2014}and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice‘s mentioned briefly in Alice‘s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late{u2014}and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life

 

Slade House by David Mitchell
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Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you{u2019}ll find the entrance to SladeHouse. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won{u2019}t want to leave. Later, you{u2019}ll find that you can{u2019}t. Every nine years, the house{u2019}s residents{u2014}an odd brother and sister{u2014}extend a unique invitation to someone who{u2019}s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House?

 

 

A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s award-winning series returns with another stunning crime drama featuring Scotland Yard members Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. The unspoken secrets and buried lies of one family rise to the surface in Elizabeth George’s newest novel of crime, passion, and tragic history. As Inspector Thomas Lynley investigates the London angle of an ever more darkly disturbing case, his partner, Barbara Havers, is looking behind the peaceful façade of country life to discover a twisted world of desire and deceit. The suicide of William Goldacre is devastating to those left behind who will have to deal with its unintended consequences–could there be a link between the young man’s leap from a Dorset cliff and a horrific poisoning in Cambridge? After various issues with her department, Barbara Havers is desperate to redeem herself. So when a past encounter gives her a connection to the unsolved Cambridge murder, Barbara begs Thomas Lynley to let her pursue the crime, knowing one mistake could mean the end of her career.

 

 

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein
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From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, the book Kim Gordon says “everyone has been waiting for” — a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life–and finding yourself–in music. Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock. HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later. With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.

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