Welcome to Kira's recommendations! Check out what Kira has been reading below.
Betsy Bonner's The Book of Atlantic Black is a compulsively readable memoir - it's both an exploration of the intertwined, yet polarized lives of the author and her late sister, and an obsessive pursuit for concrete details surrounding her death. A grunge musician originally christened Nancy Bonner, Atlantis lives a life defined by abuse, mental illness, and an unflinching need for glory and greatness; she supposedly dies by overdose on the floor of a Tijuana hotel room. It's questionable that the body belonged to Atlantis, and Bonner spends years searching for some semblance of truth regarding her sister's demise. What Bonner discovers throughout her sister's Facebook messages, emails, Craigslist ads, and interview tapes, serves only to complicate the tangled web of people and circumstances surrounding Atlantis's final months, creating a veil of intrigue and mystery that one could almost imagine Atlantis reveling in. While you hope page after page that the author will find closure, her unsatisfying hunt for answers is what makes her work echo for so long after the final sentence ends, serving to create something impactful and lasting, a homage to a sister lost.
Let's get into it - Backman's Anxious People is an onion of a novel that's kind of about a bank robbery gone wrong, kind of about a father and son, and kind of about all sorts of anxious, endearing characters who are really just trying to find their footing in the world. These pages are full of layers and unassuming at first, but there's a good chance it'll make you shed a tear or two, and you won't regret it even a little bit. I always start out a Backman novel thinking it's a little cheesy, and yet he always ends up proving me wrong. His ability to really put into writing all of the facets of human nature, and to weave together a story that's at once multifaceted, compelling, laugh-out-loud funny, and utterly relatable is a gift, and I'm thankful to experience it. Anxious People and all of the ridiculous, complex characters within hold that truly perfect blend of depth and levity that Backman has perfected in his novels - I can't think of a better book coming out in 2020, and I can't wait to make all of my friends read it too.
Follow Me to Ground is a sensual, surrealist trip about a pair of healers who originate from The Ground. Ada and her father aren't quite human, and they aren't quite witches. The two possess the ability to slice open Cures (ordinary humans), touching and singing away all sorts of ailments, forcing tumors and clots and the like to leave the bodies they inhabit. In some cases, they bury Cures alive, and not only is this claustrophobic treatment effective, it's embraced by the townsfolk. Ada and the Ground can work their magic on nearly everything - including things best left alone. I found myself hooked after the first few sentences, and even after I finished the last eerie page, my thoughts were consumed by naïve Ada, her questionable lover Samson, and her fight for autonomy from both her father and the expectations placed on her by desperate, nervous Cures. Rainsford's storytelling ability in Follow Me to Ground is uncanny, compulsively readable, and an absolute gift.
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