February 2011 Book Picks
It’s time once again for your Clean-Cut editor to recommend a few books that have surfaced recently. Since we’ll be incorporating a new page into the blog that will list forthcoming books by pub date, the format (and title) of the monthly book post has changed. It will now be a short list of only the most commendable efforts book publishing currently has to show for itself. I sincerely hope this method will be more useful to those of you who like to show off that you’ve read the latest book before your friends have even heard of it.
Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier
Jack of all trades, Hervé Le Tellier, is a writer, journalist, mathematician, food critic and teacher. Enough About Love, translated from the French by Adriana Hunter, is his story about two woman, Anna and Louise. They don’t know each other, but their lives begin to mirror one another when both women, happily married, meet and fall in love with other men. With a romantic Parisian backdrop to set the stage, this novel promises to expose the very real and very destructive conflict between desire and responsibility.
Myth of the Great Ending, The: Why We’ve Been Longing for the End of Days Since the Beginning of Time by Joseph M. Fesler
Fesler delves into the unceasingly popular topic of the apocalypse and humanity’s obsession with it. He explores questions raised by religious beliefs of the Rapture as well as spiritualists’ anticipation of 2012.
Paris Was Ours: Thirty-Two Writers Reflect on the City of Light edited by Penelope Rowlands
This is a collection of essays on different experiences had by writers while living in Paris. Contributors, including David Sedaris, Stacey Schiff, and Zoe Valdes, relay their love/hate relationships with the City of Light, as they observed and embraced the Parisian lifestyle.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Much-celebrated young writer, Karen Russell, tells the story of Swamplandia, the island home of the Bigtree alligator-wrestling theme park, which is in disarray after competitor World of Darkness appears. Not only that, but thirteen-year-old Ava is left to keep the family-owned operation afloat when her mother dies and her father disappears. Mystical realism infuses this debut novel as young Ava struggles to tend to her siblings and ninety-eight alligators, all while dealing with the loss of her parents.
The World of King Arthur by Christopher Snyder
This book is an exciting excavation into Arthurian legend. Were King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, the Holy Grail, Lancelot, and Guinevere real? Snyder examines medieval texts and archeological discoveries to explore the middle ages, when Arthur is believed to have been king, in order to shed some light on the viability of his myth.