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Slade House by David Mitchell

Mitchell does it again in this compact thriller that may or may not be a sequel to The Bone Clocks. Companion piece or spin-off is perhaps a better description. Slade House is tucked away down an alley behind a pub with a small, mysterious iron door that only appears every nine years. Invited in by a strange brother and sister, the unique and unfortunate souls who enter that door are never heard from or seen again. Spanning 50 years from the late 70s to the present, this little novel will make you feel as if you have dropped inside an Escher drawing and will keep you up at night as you hurtle to the conclusion discovering the secrets of this haunted-house story as only Mitchell can reveal them. – Anne Stewart Mark

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The Bone Clocks: A Novel By David Mitchell Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812976823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 16th, 2015

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights By Salman Rushdie Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812998917
Published: Random House - September 8th, 2015

It may not be immediately apparent to math-averse book people, but the title of Salman Rushdie's new novel adds up to one thousand and one nights—perhaps the most (in) famous duration of time associated with storytelling. Rushdie's riff on The Arabian Nights tells the story of an exceptional jinna (a female jinn or genie) who leaves the world of her kind and falls in love with a series of human men. Her unlikely offspring live unaware of their supernatural heritage but as the slits that allow jinni to travel between their world and ours begin to open up, she seeks out her progeny to alert them to their powers. Soon "strangenesses" begin to occur with regularity, the fabric of reasonable society comes apart and the War of the Worlds (between the human world and the jinni world) begins. This book gives you everything you want from a Rushdie novel—wild wit and humor, earthy characters, his unique style of magical realism mixed with almost classical romance, Joycean wordplay, and a truly epic storyline that spans millennia. It's perfect for fans of Rushdie's earlier classics Midnight's Children and The Moor's Last Sigh. – Kenneth Loosli

Other Books Mentioned in This Piece: 
Midnight's Children: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) By Salman Rushdie Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812976533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 4th, 2006

The Moor's Last Sigh: Costa Novel Award (Vintage International) By Salman Rushdie Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679744665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 14th, 1997

The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (Modern Library Classics) By Richard Burton (Translated by), A. S. Byatt (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Richard Burton (Translated by), A. S. Byatt (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780375756757
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Modern Library - April 10th, 2001

Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Miéville

You'll find this book in science fiction but these stories truly transcend the genre. When extraterrestrials do appear, they do so in unlikely ways, such as remnants to be rediscovered in an archeological dig. More commonly, Miéville's tales traffic in the uncanny—card games disrupted by the appearance of "hidden suits" (cards that don't exist in the standard 52-card deck), a guardian of religious objects who addresses the idols in his care as if they were alive, the sudden appearance and disappearance of what Hogarth called "shapes of horror." One highlight is "Polynia," a story about the arrival of icebergs floating above London and how this bizarre event affects the lives of a group of schoolboys. Each story offers a glimpse into a different kind of world but Miéville's gift is to keep even his strangest stories rooted in the human experience—his characters are as striking as his inventive plots. Call it speculative fiction, call it weird fiction, call it what you will, this is a remarkable book of literary invention that brings to mind the work of Daphne DuMaurier and J.G. Ballard. – Kenneth Loosli

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

Fortune Smiles: Stories By Adam Johnson Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812997477
Published: Random House - August 18th, 2015

Adam Johnson's marvelous yet understated short stories put you in the uncomfortable position of identifying with people you may not want to—a husband with a paralyzed wife who derives pleasure only from a holographic version of Kurt Cobain, a victim of sexual abuse who has grown up into a collector of child pornography, a former East German prison warden who still frequents the museum of the prison he used to oversee, a man searching for the mother of his child in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, North Koreans struggling to make a life for themselves in South Korea. In every instance, Johnson slips you into the skin of these characters so fluidly it's impossible not to identify with them in this remarkable collection that proves Johnson's winning the Pulitzer Prize was not a fluke. This is one of the year's must-reads for fans of literary fiction. – Kenneth Loosli