Saturday, July 1, 2023

Rabbit rabbit: The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance
by Edmund de Waal
Memoir, History | Published: 2010 | Goodreads

264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them bigger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great uncle Iggie's Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger and more dramatic than he could ever have imagined.

From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siecle Paris, from occupied Vienna to Tokyo, Edmund de Waal traces the netsuke's journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century.

First sentence(s):
In 1991 I was given a two-year scholarship by a Japanese foundation. The idea was to give seven young English people with diverse professional interests - engineering, journalism, industry, ceramics - a grounding in the Japanese language at an English university, followed by a year in Tokyo. Our fluency would help build a new era of contacts with Japan. We were the first intake on the program and expectations were high.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Rabbit rabbit: Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead
by Emily Austin
Contemporary, LGBTQ | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Gilda, a twenty-something lesbian, cannot stop ruminating about death. Desperate for relief from her panicky mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local Catholic church, and finds herself being greeted by Father Jeff, who assumes she’s there for a job interview. Too embarrassed to correct him, Gilda is abruptly hired to replace the recently deceased receptionist Grace.

In between trying to memorize the lines to Catholic mass, hiding the fact that she has a new girlfriend, and erecting a dirty dish tower in her crumbling apartment, Gilda strikes up an email correspondence with Grace’s old friend. She can’t bear to ignore the kindly old woman, who has been trying to reach her friend through the church inbox, but she also can’t bring herself to break the bad news. Desperate, she begins impersonating Grace via email. But when the police discover suspicious circumstances surrounding Grace’s death, Gilda may have to finally reveal the truth of her mortifying existence.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Rabbit rabbit: Rabbit Island

Rabbit Island
by Elvira Navarro
translated by Christina MacSweeney
Short stories, Horror, Spain | Published: 2021 (first 2019) | Goodreads

Combining the gritty surrealism of David Lynch with the explosive interior meditations of Clarice Lispector, the stories in Elvira Navarro’s Rabbit Island traverse the fickle, often terrifying terrain between madness and freedom. In the title story, a so-called “non-inventor” conducts an experiment on an island inhabited exclusively by birds and is horrified by what the results portend. “Myotragus” bears witness to a man of privilege’s understanding of the world being violently disrupted by the sight of a creature long thought extinct. Elsewhere, an unsightly “paw” grows from a writer’s earlobe; a grandmother floats silently in the corner of a room.

These eleven stories from one of Granta’s “Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists” are psychogeographies of dingy hotel rooms, shape-shifting cities, and graveyards. They act as microscopes fixed upon the regions of our interior lives we often neglect, where the death of God and the failures of institutions have given way to alternative modes of making sense of the world. They are cracked bedroom mirrors. Do you like what you see?

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Rabbit rabbit: Finding the Bunny

Finding the Bunny
The secrets of America's most influential and invisible art
revealed through the struggles of one woman's journey
by Samantha Paris
Biography | Published: 2018 | Goodreads

Through narration, flashback, inner monologue, and snappy laugh-out-loud dialogue, Samantha Paris's Finding the Bunny--now optioned by Warner Bros. for development into a television series-- artfully peels back the curtain on the fascinating world of voice-over, and much more. With untethered honesty and humor, voice-over genius Paris reveals her intensely personal story— that of a woman in mid-career, recovering from a disastrous childhood, dealing with a failed but far-from-loveless marriage, running a hugely successful business, shepherding thousands of students through the learning process so that they can realize their dreams, while dealing with a burning internal conflict about what happened to hers.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Happy release: Confidence by Rafael Frumkin

by Rafael Frumkin
Contemporary, LGBTQ | Published: March 2023 | Goodreads

At seventeen, Ezra Green doesn’t have a lot going for him. He is shorter than average, gap-toothed, internet-addicted, and halfway to being legally blind. He’s also on his way to Last Chance Camp, the final stop before juvie.

Ezra's summer at Last Chance turns life-changing when he meets Orson, brilliant and Adonis-like, with a mind for hustling. Together, the two embark upon what promises to be a fruitful career of scam artistry. But when they try to pull off their biggest scam yet--NuLife, a corporation that promises its consumers a lifetime of bliss--things start to spin wildly out of control.

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Images from: Lovelytocu