Read-Alikes for ‘Sea of Tranquility’ by Emily St. John Mandel

LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf) is the top holds title of the week (4/4/22). LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

“The latest in Mandel’s evolving uber novel opus once again builds an utterly singular world while remaining tethered to her previous works (characters from The Glass Hotel are instrumental here). The author’s most distinctly genre-inflected work yet, it boasts a laundry list of sf elements; time travel, lunar colonies, and simulation theory are corded to the more grounded influences of music, the natural world, family, and, yes, pandemics (though smartly more abstracted here). Initially taking on an unsettled shape of a mystery replete with myriad narrative ellipses, the narrative eventually slows its pace to fill in its early narrative shading, settling into the perspective of Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a sort-of layabout who finds himself investigating an ‘anomaly’ that manifests across several centuries and lives. What results is a decidedly lighter and looser work for Mandel, recalling some of the paradox-themed playfulness of Sean Ferrell’s Man in the Empty Suit or Charles Yu’s How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, without leaning full-bore into any quantum specificity. But while its littered enigmas and savvy narrative structure make for effortless reading, both the worldbuilding and Roberts are given short shrift. VERDICT A distinctly slight work from Mandel, one that is very much enjoyable on its own terms and nails its tonal progression but has too soft a center to hold up to much scrutiny.”—Luke Gorham

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

Appeared on the November 2017 LibraryReads list

Future Home of the Living God explores the possibility of evolution reversing and is told from the perspective of a pregnant woman who is writing a journal to her unborn child. Along the way we meet her adoptive parents, her birth mother, and she reports on society unraveling and detaining pregnant women. Erdrich provides compelling characters and a strong storyline about a near future in this piece of innovative dystopian fiction.”—Ian Stade, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, MN

How Long ’Til Black Future Month: Stories by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit; LJ starred review)

Appeared on the November 2018 LibraryReads list

“This first short story collection from the most celebrated speculative fiction author of our time features her signature blend of sharply observed, provocative tales of magic steeped in realism and social commentary. Both SFF fans and adventurous readers of genre-blending literary fiction such as Station Eleven and The Underground Railroad will find much to admire.”—Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review)

Appeared on the September 2021 LibraryReads list

“Several main storylines, all connected to a ‘lost’ ancient Greek manuscript, are set in 15th century Constantinople, present day Idaho, and a spaceship in the future. Much of the beauty of this novel is in watching the pieces slowly come together to tell an eternal story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. For fans of All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Atlas.”—Jenifer May, Secaucus Public Library, Secaucus, NJ

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