The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko: A Novel

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko: A Novel

bFC9781250081865y Scott Stambach (St. Martin’s Press) August 9, 2016
“Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko has spent his entire life in a cloistered world, but he possesses a keen intellect and an understanding of humanity that far exceeds the confines of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Severely physically handicapped due to radiation poisoning, Ivan has never had a friend beyond his caregivers at the hospital — until Polina is admitted. The two teens form a fast and indelible bond that will leave readers in awe of the tenacity of their commitment. Heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn (E), Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

About the Author

SCOTT STAMBACH lives in San Diego where he teaches physics and astronomy at Grossmont and Mesa colleges. He also collaborates with Science for Monks, a group of educators and monastics working to establish science programs in Tibetan Monasteries throughout India. He has written about his experiences working with monks of Sera Jey monastery and has published short fiction in several literary journals including Ecclectica, Stirring, and Convergence. He is the author of “The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko.”

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Heap House: Book 1, The Ironmonger Trilogy

9781468309539 Heap House: Book 1, The Ironmonger Trilogy

written and illustrated by Edward Carey

Overlook Press, Oct. 2014

Chosen by Luminaries author Eleanor Catton as her Guardian Book of the Year, Heap House is the gorgeously illustrated story of the Iremonger clan and their gothic, eccentric world.

Set in 1875, Carey’s delightful variation on Mervyn Peake’s classic Gormenghast books features young Clod Iremonger, sickly scion of an eccentric family that has grown rich off of the trash heaps of London. Heap House itself is a mad conglomeration of building fragments attached willy-nilly to the original mansion located amid dangerous, ever-shifting Heaps. All Iremongers possess birth objects, such as a sink plug or a mustache cup, which they must never lose on pain of death or transformation; Clod is considered odd even by his relatives because he can hear each birth object speak its name. When orphan Lucy Pennant comes to Heap House as a servant, things become even stranger for Clod and his fellow Iremongers. Birth objects and other bits of the house grow restless, moving about on their own, and Clod finds himself falling in love. Full of strange magic, sly humor, and odd, melancholy characters, this trilogy opener, peppered with portraits illustrated by Carey in a style reminiscent of Peake’s own, should appeal to ambitious readers seeking richly imagined and more-than-a-little-sinister fantasy.

The first installment of the Iremonger Trilogy, Heap House introduces the reader to a fascinating world whose inhabitants come alive on the page—and in Edward Carey’s fantastical illustrations—Clod and Lucy, anxious, animal-loving Tummis with his pet seagull, menacing cousin Moorcus, dreadful Aunt Rosamud, and more. Mystery, romance, and the perils of the Heaps await!

Praise for Heap House:
“Set in 1875, Carey’s delightful variation on Mervyn Peake’s classic Gormenghast books features young Clod Iremonger, sickly scion of an eccentric family that has grown rich off of the trash heaps of London. Heap House itself is a mad conglomeration of building fragments attached willy-nilly to the original mansion located amid dangerous, ever-shifting Heaps. Full of strange magic, sly humor, and odd, melancholy characters, this trilogy opener, peppered with portraits illustrated by Carey in a style reminiscent of Peake’s own, should appeal to ambitious readers seeking richly imagined and more-than-a-little-sinister fantasy.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)“What an astonishing book this is! A novel for children so good, so peculiar, so magical that it bears comparison to classics like The Hobbit or The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Golden Compass or the Green Knowe books. That is to say, adults should read it too, in order to be given the uncanny, wrenching sensation of visiting a new and strange place — and finding a home there.”  —Kelly Link, award-winning author of Magic for Beginners

“The first in a deliciously macabre trilogy . . . channels Dickens crossed with Lemony Snicket. . . . a Gothic tale in turns witty, sweet, thoughtful and thrilling—but always off-kilter—andpenned with gorgeous, loopy prose. Suspense and horror gradually accumulate into an avalanche of a climax, leading to the most precipitous of cliffhangers… Magnificently creepy.”  —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Heap House is delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising, philosophical, everything that an novel for children should be.” —Eleanor Catton, winner of the Man Booker Prize for The Luminaries

Heap House torques and tempers our memories of Dickensian London int a singularly jaunty and creepy tale of agreeable misfits.”—Gregory Maguire, best-selling author of Wicked

Edward Carey is the author and illustrator of two novels for adults, Observatory Mansions and Alva and Irva, which was longlisted for the IMPAC Literary Award. The Iremonger Trilogy is his first work for young readers. Born in England, he now lives with his wife, Elizabeth McCracken, and their two children in Austin, Texas, where he wrote the Iremonger Trilogy because he missed feeling cold and gloomy.

 Release date: 10/16/2014, Ages 10 and Up
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Remembering Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

Remembering Maya Angelou  (1928-2014)

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May 28, 2014 · 1:59 pm

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)
“Fikry is a bookseller with a small shop in a sleepy island resort town off the coast of Massachusetts. He’s a bit cantankerous, but with good reason: his wife, the ‘people person’ of the relationship, has recently died and his prized possession, a rare copy of Tamerlane, has gone missing. Despite those losses, there’s one strange addition, a baby girl left on his doorstep with an explicit request for Fikry to take her in. Zevin’s novel offers the reality of both death and rebirth, held together by the spirit of the bookstore. It’s a romantic comedy, a spiritual journey, and if you include the chapter openings, a collection of short story criticisms as well. In short, it’s a celebration of books and the people who read them, write them, and sell them.”
— Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

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A Long Way from Chicago

a long way from chicagoPuffin (April 12, 2004)

Review by Josh Poppie (Jan. 2014)

I am reviewing A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck. I consider it a historical fiction or humorous book with several themes.

This book is a compilation of several stories about two kids, Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel, going to see their grandma for a week during every summer for seven years. Each visit is different in its own special way.  Some of the stories include: the catching-in-the-act and revenge on four prankster kids; an illegal fishing trip; and, a wrestling match between two of the oldest men alive.  Joey, the narrator, says Grandma Dowdel becomes a different woman every year.

The book takes place in Illinois’ Piatt County. I like the writing style especially because it involves a lot of funny similes and interesting vocabulary. Although it takes place in the Midwest, it has a very Southern feel to it.

I’d recommend A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck, to anyone who likes humor or old-time stories from the Great Depression era.

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Wishing You a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Please watch for our new reviews in 2014!

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December 18, 2013 · 11:11 am

The New Arcana by John Amen & Daniel Y. Harris

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The New Arcana by John Amen and Daniel Y. Harris (Aug. 20, 2012) stretches the fabric of poetry with an experimental twisting of photos and art.  Presented in five sections, this work takes on a theatrical style through its characters, dialog and often outrageous banter.  It is a work of art that will challenge the reader to pay attention and think beyond conscripted poetry.

About The Authors

John Amen is the author of three collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer (Uccelli Press, 2003), More of Me Disappears (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2005), At the Threshold of Alchemy (Presa, 2009), and THE NEW ARCANA (NYQ Books, 2012). His work has appeared in numerous journals nationally and internationally and been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, and Hebrew. In addition, he has released two folk/folk rock CDs: All I’ll Never Need (Cool Midget, 2004) and Ridiculous Empire (2008). He is also an artist, working primarily with acrylics on canvas. Amen travels widely giving readings, doing musical performances, and conducting workshops. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine.

Daniel Y. Harris is the author of Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Cervena Barva Press, 2012, forthcoming), THE NEW ARCANA (with John Amen, NYQ Books, 2012), Paul Celan and the Messiah’s Broken Levered Tongue (with Adam Shechter, Cervena Barva Press, 2010; picked by The Jewish Forward as one of the 5 most important Jewish poetry books of 2010) and Unio Mystica (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2009). He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Some of his poetry, experimental writing, art, and essays have been published in BlazeVOX, DENVER QUARTERLY, European Judaism, EXQUISITE CORPSE, The New York QuarterlyIn Posse ReviewThe Pedestal MagazinePoetry Magazine.comand Poetry Salzburg Review.

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