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Gift Suggestions from Susanne and Laura

November 30, 2012 by Reader's Connection

A couple more 2012 gift suggestions from someone besides me:

The Bartender's TaleFrom Susanne, who subsitutes at the library:
Author Ivan Doig knows the Pacific Northwest – the landscape, the people, and the eccentricites of rural life. The title of his most recent novel, The Bartender’s Tale, is somewhat misleading: while centered around a bar in northern Montana, the story involves so much more.

Told in the voice of 12 year-old Rusty, Doig’s charming coming-of-age novel celebrates the sense of history and connectedness of small Western towns. With strong characters and a subtle plot, I find this warm yet unsentimental saga to be one of the best that I have read in quite some time.

The Bartender’s Tale is storytelling at its finest. It can be dangerous to gush so much about a novel – it raises expectations so highly – but really, to me, this is a Great American Novel. Not something that I mention lightly. I am now going back to read some of his earlier works.

 

Epic: Legends of FantasyAnd in response to a request for gift suggestions on Facebook, Laura wrote:

For people who like to travel to lands that might exist: I am currently enjoying Epic: Legends of Fantasy, an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams.

Publishers Weekly seems to share Laura’s opinion: The 17 selections range widely in theme, taking in faith, power, magic, and science. Genre legends Ursula K. Le Guin and Michael Moorcock appear alongside veterans Orson Scott Card and George R.R. Martin, but the collection’s three standouts come from less storied contributors. In Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Bound Man,” mortal men unexpectedly succeed in summoning the mythical “Chooser of the Slain.” N.K. Jemisin’s “The Narcomancer,” explores the same ancient Egypt-inspired universe as her Dreamblood novels, and Carrie Vaughn’s “Strife Lingers in Memory” explores the costs soldiers continue to pay after their battles are done. . . . merits a place on fantasy fans’ bookshelves.

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