From the Shelf
Board Books: Colors
In this Issue...
by Soraya Chemaly
In her look at the power of female rage, Soraya Chemaly argues that anger is the first step on the road to justice.
by S.K. Perry
This is a beautiful tale of young love and young loss, and the magical powers of friendship to heal broken hearts.
by Patrick Ness
In Patrick Ness's young adult retelling of Moby Dick, a whale hunts down the white ship of her man enemy.
Review by Subjects:
From Fountain Bookstore
09/22/2018 - 2:00PMJoin us for a day of fun and fiction! Fountain Fan Fairs are high energy events with fun games and fabulous prizes!!!!!!!! Bring your friends and... Let's Reign (and Fan) On! Gwen Cole grew up in upstate New York and then moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college. Instead she played bass guitar in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She enjoys large jigsaw puzzles, playing Xbox and softball, and watching movies. Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia...
09/23/2018 - 10:00AMYoung Adult (or YA for short) is a very diverse and exciting genre. Our book club is subtitled Adults Who Read YA, so this group is open for those 18+ years old. Purchase of book from Fountain either in paper, ebook, or audio is required. You can find more information about our group on MeetUp or Facebook (although joining either group isn't a requirement).
09/23/2018 - 12:00PMPleased to be invited to the second annual Blue Bee Book Fair & Brunch scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23, from noon to 4 PM! We will feature will be hanging out with our friends from Blue Bee, Chop Suey Books, Mixie’s Antiques, and Black Swan Bookstore — plus the James River Writers and food from LOWCO Eatery. Make sure you bring gently used books for our Little Free Library. We will trade you one cider buck for each book you bring in – up to five bucks per...
09/25/2018 - 6:30PMJoin us for an evening of fun and fiction! Fountain Fan Fairs are high energy events with fun games and fabulous prizes!!!!!!!! Bring your friends and... Let's Fan On! Beth Revis is the author of the New York Times bestselling Across the Universe series, the twisty contemporary novel A World Without You, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Rebel Rising. Beth lives in rural North Carolina in a house full of boys--her husband, son, and two massive...
09/26/2018 - 7:00PMThe cure for the common book club!!!! This month's book is These Honored Dead (Lincoln and Speed Mystery #1)! Purchase of the book through Fountain is required- either in physical form, Kobo ebook, or Libro FM audiobook.
Book Borrowing Rules
Bustle listed "15 rules for borrowing books, so you don't lose your friends in the process."
Inspired by last night's Emmy awards, Quirk Books wondered: "What would author acceptance speeches look like?"
Journalist and broadcaster Jenni Murray recommended "the best books about history's forgotten women" for the Guardian.
The alternative bard: Electric Lit explored "the 10 weirdest places Shakespeare plays have been performed" and Buzzfeed imagined what it might be like "if Shakespeare characters could text in 2018."
"Getting a grip: 11 literary quotes about hands" were collected by Signature.
Gastro Obscura peeked "inside a 17th-century 'barbarian' cookbook from Japan."
Stuart Turton: Pacing and Post-its
|photo: Charlotte Graham|
Stuart Turton has a degree in English and Philosophy, which makes him excellent at arguing and terrible at choosing degrees. Having trained for no particular career, he has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai and now he's a freelance journalist. Turton lives in London with his amazing wife and drinks lots of tea. He's not to be trusted. In the nicest possible way. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Sourcebooks Landmark) is his debut.
You're a journalist. What prompted you to write not just a novel, but an intricate puzzler of a novel?
The first novels I ever devoured were by Agatha Christie, so I'd wanted to write one for as long as I could remember. I actually took my first swing at one when I was 21 and bombed spectacularly because I didn't have a clever idea to put at the heart of it. Most of the really special Christie novels have a brilliant twist or plot hook, and it took me about 10 years to come up with mine. While I was waiting for that to happen I became a journalist because, sadly, you can't bill anybody for your "thinking time."
The chronology in the book is mind-bending, in many ways. Just when I thought I'd figured out the time period (carriages), a car or a day planner pops in. Sometimes Aiden knows what will happen before it does, other times he's surprised. Were you surprised at the direction the book took?
If I was surprised, I'd done something wrong! Because the plot was so intricate and dependent on certain people being in certain places at certain times, I planned out the entire day in two-minute intervals. That allowed me to keep track of every character's movements through the house and grounds. The only time I was surprised was when I indulged an idea that wasn't in the plan. Two months later, I'd written myself into a corner (three impossible things were all happening at 1:26 pm) and I had to scrap 40,000 words. I nearly threw myself out of a window. After that, surprise became a bit of a dirty word for this book. As for the time period--that slight sense of fuzziness was entirely intentional. I wanted to write an Agatha Christie-style novel that incorporated everything she was famous for, including the twists, outlandish characters, clever murders and the period. She wrote her books between the 1920s and 1960s, and because my story has a time-travel strand, I didn't see any reason not to treat that period as a historical grab bag.
At one point Aiden says, "I'm no longer a man, I'm a chorus." How did you manage that chorus?
I have all the Post-it notes in the world, I reckon. Two walls of my study were covered in utterly insane-sounding descriptions of my characters ("face like old furniture--not same for R" being a case in point) If the police had raided my house, they would have thought I was masterminding the world's weirdest murder. At heart, each of my character's hosts was created to pace the novel, which massively helped me to define them. I introduce a clever old man to talk a lot and slow it down. I introduce a stupid young man to get into fights and speed it up.
Your character descriptions are perfect ("Herrington's spent the evening tossing around tedious stories without bothering to indulge in the courtesy of exaggeration"). I'd imagine that your journalism experience honed this ability.
That's very kind, thanks! When I was a travel journalist, there was loads of room for that sort of creative description, and I really enjoyed it. If I was writing about technology or finance, I tended to write in a bit more of a straitjacket because the readers were far more interested in facts than fancy prose. To be honest, I went slightly mad when I started the book. My descriptions were far too flowery, and I had to prune them back. If I hadn't, you'd probably still be reading it.
Do you have a favorite character? I'm partial to the obese banker, Ravencourt.
Ravencourt's my favourite, too. For me, it's because Aiden's very unkind about Ravencourt when he first wakes up in his body, but as he goes along he realizes the power of Ravencourt's intellect--and ends up yearning to be Ravencourt when he's in other hosts. It's also a character with a lot of firsts. He's the first to understand the rules of the day and work out how they might be bent to his benefit. He's the first to make a genuine friend and he's the first to encounter the footman.
After finishing The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I wondered if there will be a sequel. You couldn't replicate the story with another character, but what happens to Aiden and Anna? Or are you writing a completely different novel?
I've been asked about a sequel a lot, but I always intended this to be a one-off novel. Any open questions at the end of the book weren't meant to tease another one, just give the impression of a continuing world. I wanted the reader to feel the characters were carrying on without them. Really neat endings always feel very artificial to me. Sorry, that's a really long-winded way of saying I'm writing a completely different novel next. It'll be mad as a bag of cats though, so it'll have that in common with 7 1/2 Deaths.
What book(s) have you been excited about recently?
Marcus Zusak has just announced he's releasing another novel, which is brilliant. It's been 10 years since The Book Thief--which I thought was utterly extraordinary. Can't wait to see what he's been cooking up this last decade. I loved Circe by Madeline Miller, and I'm currently reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino, which is the sort of weird that makes me do handstands. --Marilyn Dahl
Let Me Be Like Water
by S.K. Perry
Discover: This is a beautiful tale of young love and young loss, and the magical powers of friendship to heal broken hearts.
The Fifth Woman
by Nona Caspers
Discover: The Fifth Woman is a book of connected short stories that depicts the surreal aftermath of losing a loved one.
The Story of H
by Marina Perezagua , trans. by Valerie Miles
Discover: A Japanese woman and an American soldier search for a girl who went missing in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Mystery & Thriller
Red, White, Blue
by Lea Carpenter
Discover: The story of a CIA spy gradually unfolds, narrated by both his daughter and a mysterious case officer.
Biography & Memoir
by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Discover: The daughter of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs writes an emotional, cathartic and haunting coming-of-age tale of family dysfunction.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Discover: Presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin examines the nature of leadership as demonstrated by the careers of four major U.S. presidents.
Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist
by Eli Saslow
Discover: An up-and-coming White Nationalist sees the world in a different light when a diverse group of college students treats him with kindness and compassion.
Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger
by Soraya Chemaly
Discover: In her look at the power of female rage, Soraya Chemaly argues that anger is the first step on the road to justice.
Psychology & Self-Help
The Incurable Romantic: And Other Tales of Madness and Desire
by Frank Tallis
Discover: Frank Tallis, a British clinical psychologist and mystery writer, chooses 11 of his most interesting cases to illustrate the link between romantic turmoil and mental health.
by Eileen Myles
Discover: In a bold collection of poems, Eileen Myles reinforces their justifiable fame as the unabashed voice of what's left of New York's downtown edginess.
Children's & Young Adult
And the Ocean Was Our Sky
by Patrick Ness , illust. by Rovina Cai
Discover: In Patrick Ness's young adult retelling of Moby Dick, a whale hunts down the white ship of her man enemy.
Dactyl Hill Squad
by Daniel José Older
Dactyl Hill Squad has everything a reader could possibly want in a middle-grade book: action, adventure, magic, humor and dinosaurs. Magdalys is the same kind of young, engaging and flawed protagonist as Philip Pullman's Lyra--a character readers can't help but love even when (especially because) she's frustrating. An entertaining and wholly fulfilling series opener. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness
Discover: Twelve-year-old Magdalys discovers she can talk to dinos in Daniel José Older's fantastical alternate history of New York during the Civil War.