Katie recommends House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski for both
Comments: The book is listed under "Horror" at the bookstore, and with good reason at times. I haven't finished the book yet, but there's no blood and gore, just suspense. A family moves into a house that is bigger on the inside than it is outside, and when a mysterious door opens up they decide to investigate. It's somewhat a story within a story--the story of the family is told through the notes of a dead man, and these notes are discovered by another, who throughout the story makes comments of footnotes about how his life has turned upside down after finding said notes.
Katie recommends Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link for both
Comments: This was written by the same author who wrote "Magic For Beginners" that we read a while ago. Some of the short stories are repeats but there's enough new ones in this book. The book has surfers, aliens, faeries, wizards and of course, monsters.
Katie recommends The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Comments: While I don't know how this ever got classified as a children's book, there it it. After his family is murdered, Bod (short for Nobody) is taken in by the residents of the local cemetery. And by residents I mean ghosts. The book is basically some of his adventures growing up and his eventual meeting with those responsible for his family's death. It's a nice quick read and recommended if you like Gaiman.
Comments: I suggest we treat ourselves to a movie night. Everyone bring a 5 to 10 scene from one of their favorite fantasy/science fiction movies, someone make popcorn, someone else bring gummy bears (or dots)and we all snuggle up for some good memories.
Burt recommends: Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender for both
Comments: Of the 27 books I've read this year this is the one I thought the book club would enjoy the most. It's Literature, it's fantasy, it's a moving story about a family. The main character is a food psychic. Her gift/curse is that when she eats she can tell where the food was grown, made, and the emotional state of the cook. Her mother who is struggling with her own demons is very sad. So when she cooks her daughter a lemon cake (her daughter loves lemon cake) for her ninth birthday the daughter can not eat it. The cake is too sad...hence the name of the book.
Ed recommends How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu for Sammath
Comments: Tells the story of a small-time time-machine repairman whose job is to rescue people who travl back in their lives to try to fix what went wrong. Book just came out and I have not read it yet but Time Magazine calls it a marvel of a novel.
Vanessa recommends The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson
Comments: I had read this book several years ago and had meant to recommend it in a previous year, but I don't think I did. Recently ran across the title and decided to recommend it for the upcoming year. It's a quick magic realism read. Chastity "Calamity" Lambkin, a 50ish Carribean, dealing with menopause, the death of her father and the estrangment of her daughter, finds a toddler washed up on the beach by her home. Calamity decides to raise the child, though the child has some pecularities. An enjoyable read!
Steve recommends Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami for Sammath
Comments: Murakami is the author of Kafka on the Shore, which many of us recently enjoyed. I ran into a friend at work who's a member of another book club. I'd heard that she liked Kafka, and finally had a moment to chat with her about it. She recommended the other book by Murakami. Murakami's translator was one of her professors in college. There aren't many copies in the state library system, but it is available through Amazon. It sounds very interesting...
Ed recommended Stories edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio
Comments: I'm resuggesting this book. I'm not a good salesman so it's extremely difficult for my books to get on the list. All I can say is that if you don't read this book, you will be missing one amazing SF book. Besides how many books do you know actually have trailers? Click on the link above then click on the link to view the trailer. Then explore Neal Stephenson site - after all the author will do a better job of selling a book than me.
Pat recommends Sands of Lanikai by Bob Hogue
Comments: Local author, former state senator and current commisioner of the Pac West Conference. Don't be confused by the cover, this is much more than a romance novel. Those planes are Japanese, and the date is 12/7/41. Before the first bombs were dropped, two men arrived at different moments on the other side of the island, in Kailua. One was bent on destruction, the other on discovery.
Pat recommends Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See for Moolelo
Comments: In 19th century China a girl named Lily, age 7, is paired with a laotong, or "old same" in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. I enjoyed the cultural and historical aspects, especially the graphic description of foot binding.
Steve recommends Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Comments: This book is far more than a story of a nine year old boy whose father was killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center. It is quirky, humorous and insightful, and not your traditional book by a long shot. It was highly recommended by a good friend. She handed it to me, only saying "I love this book." Four out of five stars by 385 Amazon readers.
Comments: This story is told by a fat old ugly woman (her description). She's a concierge at a hoity toity French apartment building. In her words, "I am a widow, I am short, ugly, and plump, I have bunions on my feet and, if I am to credit certain early mornings of self-inflicted disgust, the breath of a mammoth". She is not educated, but is intelligent, and appreciates the arts. She has to hide these traits from those in her vicinity, since she must keep up the appearance of a mindless concierge. The subject matter and action of the story is OK, but the writing is brilliant and delightful. Too many gems here to tell about. I'd rather you discover them for yourselves. 383 Amazon reviewers gave it 3.5 stars out of 5. It was recommended by 2 of my friends (independently). It's available in the state library system, and from Amazon
Burt recommends The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Steig Larsson for Moolelo
Comments: I read this in early 2009 and enjoyed it very much. Well written, compelling, and with a one-of-a-kind heroine, Lisbeth Salander, I've recommended it to many people. I did not recommend it to the book club, thinking it may be a little dark for the group. However, now that it's a world wide phenomenon and a zillion people have read it or are talking about it I thought you might like a shot at it. It's part of a trilogy, but it stands alone. The Swedish movie was brilliant and the American version is already cast and ready to film.
Ed recommends Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates by Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein for Moolelo
Comments: Using philosophy and jokes to explore life, death, the afterlife, and everything in between. I am about half way through. Very funny. Fast read, only 227 pages. Lots to discuss. Available at COSTCO, $7.99.