Akashic

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Book of Extraordinary Tragedies

An uplifting and interesting exploration of one family’s struggle for existence in the United States, against the backdrop of history, classical and popular music, and the financial crisis of 2007–08; highly recommended.
PREMIUM

The Reservoir

Inspired by Duchovny’s self-reflection while sequestered in his own aerie above Central Park at the height of the pandemic, this work is provocative, challenging, and not without its moments of dark humor.
PREMIUM

Funeral Train

The sequel to Death of a Rainmaker (an LJ Best Book of 2018), is just as atmospheric. The anguish and struggles of the Dust Bowl and Depression years are vividly depicted in this historical mystery.
PREMIUM

Paris Noir: The Suburbs

For lovers of crime noir short fiction, these are 12 stories of life lived in the raw.
PREMIUM

Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist

Ribot is not only a gifted musician but also a talented wordsmith, and this quirky volume will appeal to music aficionados who appreciate strong writing with observational, intelligent, and provocative themes.

Creatures of Passage

Skillfully blending fantasy and stark reality while blurring the line between the metaphoric and the tangible, Yejidé (Time of the Locust) successfully tells the story in fits and starts as each major character adds a piece to the puzzle. YA and adult fiction readers alike will enjoy. Highly recommended.

Prayer for the Living

Booker Prize–winning poet and novelist Okri (The Famished Road) creates a dreamlike atmosphere in one story, whipsaws the reader into a horrifying triptych about Boko Haram in the next, and then calms with unexpectedly gentle humor. There is something to entice or challenge every reader in this eclectic repertoire.

PREMIUM

Speculative Los Angeles

As with any anthology, the contents vary. Speculative fiction is a bit of a catchall term that may not be especially meaningful to readers. This particular collection seems geared toward an audience fond of dystopian short stories or longtime fans of Akashic’s “Noir” series wanting to branch out.

Out of Mesopotamia

Abdoh (Tehran at Twilight) explores the lives behind the war-torn headlines in a way that captures the full humanity of the participants. Channeling a bit of Tim O’Brien and a good deal of Joseph Heller, he has written the best novel to date on the Middle East’s ceaseless wars.

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