— Welcome to Night Vale
Eva Luna by Isabelle Allende
Gets more beautiful every time I read it. It’s less like reading a book & more like being told a story by someone who understands that truth is subjective & magic’s a question of perspective & the only valid religion is words. It skips along & barrels forward in turns & you’ll end up narrating your own life in her voice for days.
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Maybe it’s because since reading (& being disappointed in) Shiver I’ve read & adored the Raven Boys, or maybe it’s because I wasn’t in the right mood when I read Shiver, or maybe it’s because Linger is a better book, but I enjoyed this book a lot.
I think the addition of Isobel & Cole as narrators makes a nice contrast to the very clean-cut & slightly boring Sam, & I felt a lot warmer towards Grace in this book too - she becomes a lot more rebellious, angry & realistic. I still love Mercy Falls as a setting, & the chill in the air you can practically feel coming out of the pages. A very enjoyable read.
Not Lost by Sarah Maria Griffin
Full of quiet observations, good wisdom, dry wit & really good words about leaving home, about the domesticity of a new place, & the importance of food & streets & ordinary adventures. I had several serious bursts of emotional recognition, & I cried a couple times, & I laughed a couple more. This is beautifully written & made me miss all the people I love who’ve left home.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
This is so incredibly gorgeous & smart & heartbreaking & I always get invested in the lives of fictional characters but there’s something about the ones in this story (especially in the story-within-a-story) that just make your heart hurt.
And it’s about coincidences & parallels & inbetweenery & how we tell our stories & writers block & empathy & Zen Buddhism & not only are there appendices (I LOVE appendices) but there are also metafictional footnotes which are another of my favourite things.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
It took me a while to get into this one, but once you do it’s swamp-damp & murky & just on the border of unbelievable. I loved the entire Bigtree family, the unsettling magic realism & the really pretty writing.
Kids are more sophisticated than adults in that they know things can be both real and not real, and they enjoy inhabiting those liminal places that lose in the black and white of daily life.
But if it isn’t lost to them too early, kids can hold on to a life lived on many levels, that does not altogether follow the calendar and the clock, or the straight line of events. Life has an inside as well as an outside, and the purpose of imaginative books and films for kids isn’t simple escapism but permission to keep the Peter Pan part that never should grow up. This isn’t foolishness, but openness, trust, good-nature, and a willingness to live bravely – as all the fairytales tell us we must."
— Jeanette Winterson in the Guardian