Louis is a trumpeter swan who is not able to trumpet! Try as he might, he is unable to ko-oh, burble, or honk like his brothers and sisters. But then his father steals him a real brass trumpet, and Louis embarks on a worldwide quest to learn his instrument and communicate in his own unique way. Written by the author of Charlotte's Web and illustrated by Fred Marcellino, Trumpet of the Swan is a wonderful story about an intelligent character who finds joy and expression in music.
Mankell is among my favorite writers. This melancholy novel captures the reality of aging, loss, mortality, and solitude, as well as our connection and distance from other people. A beautiful final novel from one of Scandanavia's finest writers.
"Like most primitive cultures, New York has no feeling for nonsense. Wit is as far as they can go. That is what I miss the most, other than you, and what is slowly pulling my identity apart. No one speaks Martian, no one insults people arbitrarily, there is, to put it simply and leave it, no violence of the mind and of the heart, no one screams in the elevator." - Jack Spicer, in a letter to Allen Joyce, regarding New York City in 1955.
This is an incredible collection of ambitious and visionary plans for projects that never ended up being completed, from the birth of the city to the present day. One can only imagine the shape of the city had many of these projects come to pass.
In a time when the necessity and urgency of certain books feels more apparent and vital than ever, it's imperative to know the ground we are literally standing upon - its past, its real past, what has led to these present moments, the state of this time. I know of few single books that have invoked this ground as brilliantly, beautifully, and fiercely as Layli Long Soldier does in Whereas. This is not a book, a debut coming from nowhere. Rather, it comes out of place and life, of others preceding, stands with other strong voices in its time, and calls out. Its call is utterly powerful. The day a copy came in the mail, I was on a night flight across the country, west to east. Reading these words, I felt the plane suddenly drawn down to the ground, down to be amidst those there at Standing Rock, putting body, belief, and voice on the line for dignity and justice. Whereas does so as other books do, but poetically, profoundly, and tellingly as few others have. The 'grassesgrassesgrasses.' Yes yes yes.
Ostensibly a charmingly personal encyclopedia about the fictional television show Little Blue, Hazel Jane Plante's debut novel is an incandescent love letter to trans friendship. A tender TV-and-karaoke-soaked heartbreaker that delights in pop culture. By the end I was as smitten with Little Blue and its colorful characters as Vivian was, and I fell in love with Vivian herself from the first page. I cried reading this book on the train, at home, in the breakroom (four times), and at the laundromat where I finished it. Yes, that is a positive endorsement (obvs). Smart, soft, sad, and sexy. A novel about loss that overflows with love on every single page.
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