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Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken
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Fiskadoro by Denis Johnson
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I wasn't too involved with this as I was reading it. Though it was well-written I didn't really care about the characters. But then I came across the description of grandmother Cheung watching the fire in the stove (p124-5), which may be the most bea ...more
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Gudrun by Alma Johanna Koenig
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A prose retelling of a 13th-century poem "thought to be a companion to the more famous Niebelungenlied." I picked this up because it is translated by Anthea Bell. It's a good story, in which a captive princess is forced to do common labor unless she ...more
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Lethe by Tricia Sullivan
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The back-cover copy is absurd, but this is an enjoyable novel of the 22nd century. Post Gene-War mutations, strange objects found in the solar system, telepathic interface with dolphins, there's a lot of thoughtful pulpy things going on. I liked thes ...more
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Listening Book by W.A. Mathieu
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An invitation to the pleasures of sound. W A Mathieu has a generous spirit, and I found these short essays about listening and making sound very stimulating.

A riddle: say these words out loud-

pin tin key cod chutzpah

What's the connection?

Well, Mathie
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The Stain by Rikki Ducornet
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Ducornet's eye for detail in rural France is sharp, and there is a visceral, even grotesque playfulness to the writing. Charlotte's growth as a character unfolds nicely. I enjoyed the skillful portrayal of a young person dealing as best she can with ...more
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Storeyville by Frank Santoro
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Tinderbox by Stephen Zunes
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Tower of Dreams by Jamil Nasir
Tower of Dreams
by Jamil Nasir (Goodreads Author)
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Great speculative fiction, well plotted and with lots of interesting ideas. I like that Nasir sees the strengths and weaknesses of both traditional cultures and the postmodern West. Strangely moving.
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The Zebra Storyteller by Spencer Holst
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Fabulous and surprising short, really short, fictions.

Here's one of the shortest: "The obese puppeteer washed the dishes in the dark."

Just 9 words, but something happens. "The obese puppeteer," well, hmm, there's a character, you might imagine how e
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Joan Aiken
“She thought about Penny’s stories. There was one about a man who had three wishes and married a swan. If I had three wishes, I know what I’d wish for, thought Is. I’d wish for those two boys to be found, and for us all to be back on Blackheath Edge. She thought about Penny teaching her to read. “What’s the point of reading?” Is had grumbled at first. “You can allus tell me stories, that’s better than reading.” “I’ll not always be here,” Penny had said shortly. “Besides, once you can read, you can learn somebody else. Folk should teach each other what they know.” “Why?” “If you don’t learn anything, you don’t grow. And someone’s gotta learn you.”

Well, thought Is, if I get outta here, I’ll be able to learn some other person the best way to get free from a rolled-up rug.”
Joan Aiken, Is Underground

Walt Whitman
“it makes such difference where you read”
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