Lover of literary fiction and creative nonfiction. Hiker, backpacker, and travel bug-bitten daydreamer. Fearless photographer and daredevil grub-maker in the kitchen. An intrepid experimentalist in the art of making up nonsense songs. The guy who will cross the busiest intersection in town just to pet a cute dog. A great big dork, pretty much.
Technically, this novel gets classified as science fiction, but Butler's tale of a modern black woman transported back in time to a slave plantation in the South is social realism and criticism at its finest. This is a shattering, thought-provoking work of psychological horror, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. --Todd
What better way to practice your eyebrow-lifts and toe-curls than this delightfully odd, hilariously gruesome survey of bizarre accidents and antiquated medical procedures? Maybe not the best book to read while snacking, though, ha! --Todd
An intoxicating travelogue of some of the world's most desolate places, peppered with many philosophical musings and a great deal of historical context. Atkins evokes a sense of place so alluringly. --Todd
Ah, the deadpan delivery, the vague tingles of unease, the unblinking gaze! Didion's 1960's reportage offers no judgments but instead presents her subjects as they were, flaws and all. Societal malaise has rarely been made so delicious. --Todd
A master of metaphysical brain-scrambling storytelling trickery, Murakami takes some ingenious liberties with the Oedipal myth and serves up quite a crazy ride in the process. Few authors address the transition from adolescence to adulthood with such sense of wonder and emotional acuity. --Todd
Imagine a cross between Cormac McCarthy's work and "Breaking Bad" (but remove the show's pitch-black humor)-- Monge's stark, brutal tale of violence and regret in the unforgiving Mexican desert manages to be both lyrical and deeply visceral. --Todd
This is quite a singular read, weaving family memories and fiction with old snapshots to create a haunting meditation on homesickness and loss. Devastatingly beautiful. --Todd