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Pam's Picks of 2017
"In breathtakingly beautiful prose, Gabriel Tallent has written one of the most harrowing but ultimately hopeful and redemptive novels I've ever encountered. 'Turtle' Alveston is a survivor. She will grab you by the heart and not let you look away as she navigates growing up with a damaged, survivalist father -- an environment filled with both emotionally and physically brutal land mines that is juxtaposed against the gorgeous portrayal of Mendocino. Their conflicted relationship and what she learns from it is like nothing you've read before."
"Anthony Horowitz has ingeniously corralled so much between the covers of this novel, that it's difficult to describe without destroying both the suspense and the fun you'll have once you crack it open. Yes, it's a homage to those Golden Age mysteries many of us love, but it's also one of the best contemporary novel-within-a-novel crime creations to come along in a long time. I was gobsmacked!"
"Start with historical kernels, mix in generous portions of love, loss and humor seen through the eyes of Bardo spirits, add George Saunder's genius and you have a unique and memorable feast"
"I cannot do this book justice here. This masterpiece is one of the best books I've read in a very, very long time. It begins during the Russian revolution with Count Alexander Rostov under house arrest in an elegant hotel where he was a former resident. We follow his life -- and that period of history and watch both unfold for a span of years outside his windows. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are unforgettable."
"Having always been a sucker for folklore, fairy tales (also try Uprooted!) and old Russian settings, this book and The Girl in the Tower combined it all into one luscious borscht and had me from page 1. Set in a medieval Russian forest during midwinter, meet Vasya, an unforgettable character bestowed with her grandmother's magic, who uses both it and her bravery to save her family. Curl up and drink it in."