Each issue of Bookmarks features our Selections--staff favorites from among the books reviewed. Below is a round-up of our Selections from earlier in 2007.
By Virgil; Translated by Robert Fagles
A tale full of adventure, violence, strong characters, and passionate relationships. (Mar/Apr 2007)
Los Angeles Times
"... so enjoyable that you will hardly know you are reading an ancient masterpiece."
By Haruki Murakami
An alternate nocturnal world, in which loneliness and isolation reign. (July/Aug 2007)
"After Dark fully fulfills expectations, but its slim size ... makes it arguably the most accessible of his work."
AGAINST THE DAY
By Thomas Pynchon
A history, of sorts, of "progress," starting with the 1893 World's Fair and charting a new, modern world. (Jan/Feb 2007)
Los Angeles Times
"A book this long that amazes even 50% of the time is amazing."
By Phil LaMarche
In a working-class New Hampshire town, a boy becomes the focus of bitter public debate over gun control. (July/Aug 2007)
Los Angeles Times
"... one of the most savagely beautiful, emotionally devastating and accurate readings of what it means to grow up in our soul-starved homeland that I've ever read."
BLACK GIRL/WHITE GIRL
By Joyce Carol Oates
Racial tensions run high when a girl of Quaker origins tries to befriend her black roommate. (Jan/Feb 2007)
"Oates packs more insights into human nature into one scene than most novelists can convey in an entire book."
I'LL STEAL YOU AWAY
By Niccolo Ammaniti; Translated by Jonathan Hunt
In a backwater Italian village, the fates of an adolescent boy and a middle-aged flamenco guitarist converge. (Jan/Feb 2007)
"Ammaniti profoundly comprehends the young, the once-young, perpetually young, and the belatedly young."
IN THE COUNTRY OF MEN
By Hisham Matar
Coming of age in Qaddafi's Libya. (May/June 2007)
"This sad, beautiful novel captures the universal tragedy of children caught in their parents' terrors."
LOST CITY RADIO
By Daniel Alarcon
Life during a South American civil war, in which innocent victims simply disappear. (May/June 2007)
Rocky Mountain News
"... a wise look at the ravages of war and political strife through the lens of a quietly heartbroken woman."
MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH
By Ariana Franklin
In medieval England, a "mistress of death" tries to solve the mysterious deaths of four Christian children. (May/June 2007)
"Ariana Franklin's intelligent Mistress could have been called CSI: Canterbury."
By Tova Reich
A commercially exploited tragedy, the Holocaust becomes a battleground for all victims--from Holocaust survivors to Native Americans to African Americans, homosexuals, and chickens. (July/Aug 2007)
"Serious and hilarious and utterly scathing--no, lacerating; no, disemboweling--My Holocaust takes no prisoners."
By Carmen Laforet
A young woman comes of age during the Franco regime. (May/June 2007)
Sunday Herald [UK]
"Nada's work is suigeneris, a gothic horror story which deserves the widest possible readership."
By Jodi Picoult
Picoult imagines a high school shooting in Sterline, New Hampshire, and examines the lives of the shooter and his victims. (May/June 2007)
"This is vintage Picoult, expertly crafted, thought-provoking, and compelling."
By Mark Z. Danielewski
A book as much about its design and structure as its story. (Jan/Feb 2007)
"... needs to be studied, its patterns and symbolism deciphered, its historical cross-references pondered."
OUT STEALING HORSES
By Per Petterson
A 67-year-old widower remembers a teenage summer that shaped his adult life. (Sept/Oct 2007)
Daily Telegraph (UK)
"By the end, when all the pieces fall into place, we can see how elegantly Petterson has constructed matters."
THE RAW SHARK TEXTS
By Steven Hall
When a man returns to...