Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat is a weird book. Not in the playground taunt sense of the word, but according to the strict dictionary definition sense: Aurorarama is magical, spooky, otherworldly. The city Valtat creates, New Venice (“The Pearl of the Arctic”) is at once archaic (dog sleds, gas lamps) and utterly modern (political turmoil, drugs), and its denizens are absolutely sui generis. The novel creates a world that is completely realized, beautiful, ornate and treacherous. I picked up the book knowing very little about it and found myself quickly and happily immersed in Valtat’s world. If you are in the mood for a sophisticated literary adventure then wrap yourself in furs, hop on a sled and enjoy.

Aurorarama Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935554134
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Melville House - August 31st, 2010

Aurorarama: A Novel (The Mysteries of New Venice) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612191317
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Melville House - May 1st, 2012

Contemplative and sophisticated, Molly Fox's Birthday by Dierdre Madden is a novel that is slim in size despite its emotional weight. The unnamed narrator is a playwright spending time in the home of her friend Molly Fox, a famous actor. As the narrator goes about her day she reflects on her life: making breakfast and remembering her first meeting with Fox; as she visits the market, contemplating her friendship with a now very famous TV personality; and considering her future while she does the dishes. She ponders not only the nature of her work in the theater, but also her place in the world and role as daughter and sister. Molly Fox's Birthday is emotionally acute but devoid of melodrama, combining sympathy and insight with the perfect soupçon of humor.
Molly Fox's Birthday: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429546
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - April 27th, 2010

Both a history and a modern travelogue, The Lost City Of Z (Vintage, $15.95) is the perfect companion for any excursion. David Grann traces the glamorous and perilous life of Col. Percy Fawcett, an explorer for the Royal Geographic Society, who in the mid-20th century searched the Amazon jungle for a long-lost advanced civilization. Grann follows in Fawcett’s footsteps in 2007, bringing with him not only modern amenities (GPS) but a writer’s sensibility; while his arduous trek is slow, this book moves at a rigorous clip. The Lost City of Z is a must read for the adventurous—or the adventurous at heart.

Long before radar, satellites and Google Earth there was the Royal Geographic Society and men like Col. Percy Fawcett, adventurers of the first order heading out from Europe to map the last of the world's wilderness in the mid-twentieth century. Nearly a hundred years later, New Yorker writer David Grann tells the exciting story of Fawcett's search for a lost advanced civilization, weaving the tale of Fawcett's exploration of the Amazon with his own search for the missing explorer. Grann recounts with skin-crawling detail the many pests (Eye-licking bugs? No thank you.) and heart-stopping dangers he encountered while following in Fawcett's footsteps. Despite the slow and arduous jungle travel it recounts, David Grann's The Lost City of Z moves rapidly, making it the perfect companion for your own journey to the Amazon, the beach, or the backyard.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078455
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - January 26th, 2010