Logan's Staff Picks
Logan's Staff Pick, August 2014: “Hey Duncan, it’s me, Red Crayon. We need to talk.”
So begins Drew Daywalt’s The Day The Crayons Quit, a hilarious collection of letters to a boy who just can’t seem to keep his art supplies happy. Purple Crayon is a neat freak, Pink Crayon feels neglected, and Orange and Yellow simply aren’t speaking to each other. This is an imaginative tale for any age, and you may never look at a box of crayons the same way again.
Logan's Staff Pick, August 2014: Sometimes a sweeping, multi-generational epic is exactly what you need to scratch that literary itch, and The Son really hits the spot. Covering five generations of the great McCullough family, Meyer parallels familial drama with the violent history of the Lone Star State. Spare, unflinching, with as much grit as the desert wind, The Son is a striking work from an impressive young author.
Logan's Staff Pick, July 2014: Cynthia Bond’s stunning debut centers around the tragic life of Ruby Bell, a deeply troubled woman who appears delusional, unwashed and possibly wrought with demonic possession to all who reside in Liberty, Texas. She also happens to be one of the most enthralling characters I’ve encountered this year.
Bond’s writing is both luminous and hallucinatory, while the brutal narrative wrenches you away from whatever concerns you have in your life and drops you barefooted on the red dirt with Ruby and Ephram.
It’s not an easy read, but I found that there was always something uplifting and spiritual amidst the unflinching darkness.
Logan's Staff Pick, July 2014: A metafictional children’s book might not seem like a brilliant idea, but as he did with Press Here, Henri Tullet really pulls it off. The characters, simply drawn, truly jump off the page, interacting directly with the reader and involving us in the writing process.
This break of the fourth wall can make the book appealing to both adults and the little ones, and the guest appearance of Tullet himself adds a good bit of humor to the mix.
Logan's Staff Pick, July 2014: Written with a style more akin to a seasoned novelist than a budding reporter, Sundaram’s feverish debut describes the year he spent in the Congo after graduating from Yale University in 2005.
With his friends and colleagues left in complete shock, Sundaram decides to abandon his field of abstract mathematics, decline a promising job offer at Goldman Sachs and head to the Congolese capital of Kinshasa with little more than a place to stay and a vague interest in journalism.
Sundaram really hooked me with his lucid style and anyone interested in African history or politics should greatly enjoy this read.
Logan's Staff Pick, June 2014: Detailing the lives and experiences of half a dozen different narrators, Francine Prose’s new book offers a dazzling glimpse into the disorienting years of Paris before and during the German Occupation. The novel centers around Lou Villars, the aspiring athlete turned famed auto racer turned Nazi spy. We learn the details of Lou’s rise and fall through a plethora of disparate voices: photographers, expats, biographers, teachers, and several more. A meditation on the nature of evil, art, sex, and truth itself, Lovers is a dark and addicting read. Once you immerse yourself it’s not easy to crawl back out.
Logan's Staff Pick, June 2014: My personal favorite of Miller’s books, The Colossus of Maroussi offers a great deal of the passionate and mystifyingly poetic prose that’s present in all of his works, while leaving out quite a bit of the romantic escapades that led to his notorious obscenity trials in the 1960’s. What’s left is a man’s love song to a country he adored. “The light of Greece opened my eyes, penetrated my pores, expanded my whole being.”
Miller is in rare form in Colossus, and these travel experiences are a great introduction to his writing.
Logan's Staff Pick, June 2014: Filled with gorgeous illustrations of an urban environment, The Promise is the story of an impoverished young girl who has resorted to snatching purses to feed herself. When she tries to rob an innocent old lady, the victim only allows her to take the bag in exchange for a mysterious promise that will change her life forever. A beautiful story for any age, I could revisit this one again and again.