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Letter by Letter – part 2

Q by Evan Mandery is a sort of time travel novel. I say sort of because the unnamed protagonist is visited by a man who claims to be his future self.

With each visit he is warned not to marry the love of his life, Quentina Elizabeth Deverill. One reviewer states that this novel is the perfect combination of humour, truth and poignancy. For someone (like me) who wonders what could have been versus the reality, this is the book for you.

R by Chuck Palahniuk has me cheating a little on the title. On the novel’s cover all you see is the letter “R”, but it is also known as Rant. I am a fan of Palahniuk, but I can’t really tell you why since he often writes about unpleasant topics, however with a dark humourous twist. R is an oral biography of Buster “Rant” Landru Casey. It takes place in a dystopian future with the citizens divided into the respectable Daytimers and the oppressed Nighttimers. Rant is one of the Nighttimers and is actively involved in this lifestyle, which causes his eventual death, or does it? Read the novel to figure this mystery out.

S by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams is a very unique book that is so unique that there Youtube entries on just how to read it. It is a story within a story, with a mystery tied in. It is packaged within a box and has various materials, such as postcards and napkins to insert within the pages. Within the box is the fictional novel Ship of Thesus written by a fictional author and handwritten notes between two college students written in the margins. The fictional novel can be read as a separate entity, but the notes between Jen and Eric are what make it so very striking. I know that I am not doing it justice, so dear reader, I urge you to pick it up for yourself.

V is the debut novel by Thomas Pynchon. It was a National Book Award nominee in 1963. It is the tale of discharged U.S. Navy sailor, Barry Profane and his adventures in NYC with a group of pseudo-bohemians. He encounters a number of characters but his life changes dramatically when he befriends Stencil. Stencil’s main mission to find out the identity of V. V may be a person, a place or could be neither. Pynchon has called it “A remarkably scattered concept.” Read the novel to judge yourself.

Y is a stunning debut novel by Marjorie Celona. The tale of Shannon, an infant who is abandoned at the Y. It follows her life, starting with why her mother, Yula, decides to leave her and through her life moving through one foster home to another. Y is not only the place where the story begins; it also symbolizes “That perfect letter, the wishbone, fork in the road…”.

Z by Therese Fowler is based on a person I have always been curious about, Zelda Fitzgerald. Zelda always seemed like such a free-spirited yet tragic figure. While most people focus on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda is an interesting and unrecognized talent. This novel shows this talent and that of the legendary circles that the couple circulated in.

If you had been paying close attention you will notice that there are letters of the alphabet not listed here. That is because I could not find any to represent this on the library catalogue. So, Dear Reader, perhaps you can recommend some for us to purchase, or write one yourself!

About Halifax Libraries

Welcome to The Reader, a blog from the Readers' Services staff at Halifax Public Libraries. Our goal is to create a forum for book news and related discussion among leisure readers. A place for Halifax leisure readers to interact with their library and the larger community of leisure readers.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

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