Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a stunning coming-of-age story that tracks New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s rise from a poverty-stricken childhood in Louisiana to the respected journalist he is today. An introspective and poetic memoir about race, masculinity and sexuality, it also reckons with the impact of childhood sexual abuse on the core of his identity.
Peter Schoeffer has no choice. Johann Fust raised him as his own son, and Peter owes him everything—even if that means he must do the work of the devil.
After closing New York Times reporter Matt Richtel’s compelling book A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention, I couldn’t help but think of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Both chronicle the story of a crime. If you’ve ever read In Cold Blood, you know how the story builds with palpable suspense. The same is true here. The crime, though, isn’t coldblooded murder, but something seemingly more mundane: a car accident on a hillside in Utah that killed two rocket scientists and was caused by a careless teenager. The alleged crime is negligent homicide, because the teenager, Reggie, may have been texting just before the crash.
Newcomers to Caitlin Moran’s candor and upfront feminist sensibility should prepare themselves: How to Build a Girl is an earthy, sometimes outrageous but always funny story about a 1990s teenager from an eccentric family in a Northern England council house who becomes a rock critic.
With a contract for her first YA novel in hand, recent high school graduate Darcy Patel puts college on hold and moves to New York City. But living and writing in the city turn out to involve more than just hobnobbing with the publishing community. She also needs to find (and furnish) an apartment, stick to a budget . . . and navigate her first romantic relationship.
Like all good scary stories, Rooms begins with a death. When Richard Walker passes away, his estranged family must return to the erstwhile family home to sift through a household—and lifetime—of memories and belongings. But Richard’s ex-wife Caroline and troubled children, Trenton and Minna, are not alone as they work to rid the house of the traces of the man who once lived there: Their actions and emotions are acutely observed by two former residents of the home, Alice and Sandra, each so different from the other, yet both bound to the house by dreadful tragedies.
Ever wonder what happened after the end of Pygmalion (the original play on which the film My Fair Lady is based), as Eliza Doolittle’s emerging independence wars with Professor Henry Higgins’s attempts to ensure that she remains under his proverbial thumb? Fear not. The pseudonymous D.E. Ireland (a debut team of two authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta) has imagined an alternative.
Richard’s first sign that something is amiss in the turtle’s nest is the sound of wet, whistling breathing coming from within. As he pushes aside the protective straw, an old man wearing a shower cap bursts out, gagging and rolling his weird eyes in opposite directions. Richard, meet Skink, aka Clint Tyree, former governor of Florida.
Friends can come from the most unlikely places. In the case of Marla Frazee’s tender wordless story, The Farmer and the Clown, that place is from the back of a circus train in the middle of nowhere.
Anyone who thinks the compact novel of ideas is dead would do well to turn to Canadian writer David Bezmozgis’ second novel, The Betrayers. In scarcely more than 200 pages, this tension-packed story explores themes of betrayal, forgiveness, moral courage and its opposite that are both contemporary and timeless.