More late arrivals from Goldsboro! The Actual Star didn’t arrive until January. The good news is they seem to be finally on top of things and I’ve now received all the subscription books from 2021. Hopefully they have the VAT system kinks all worked out and 2022 won’t be as chaotic as last year. It’s unfortunate it’s taken this long but good things come to those who wait and in this case these gorgeous editions were my reward.
I’m actually incredibly excited about both these books, but like other months I was more excited about them during the months I was actually supposed to get them but here we are. I really don’t want them to sit on my TBR for too long but such is the curse of the #MoodReader
October Prem1er – The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
Prem1er subscription details can be found here.
One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house – a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, he falls in love with a mesmerising street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book – a talking thing – who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
The Book of Form and Emptiness blends unforgettable characters, riveting plot and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz to climate change to our attachment to material possessions. This is classic Ruth Ozeki – bold, humane and heartbreaking.The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
I think The Book of Form and Emptiness is going to be a very emotional read. I also think that it sounds like the kind of book that will definitely give the reader a lot to think about. The fact that the book contains a talking book as a character means I’m for sure interested in picking this up. This might need to be read in April or May 2022. I’m super intrigued!
October GSFF – The Actual Star by Monica Byrne
Waitlist for the GSFF subscription and buying options for previous picks can be found here.
The Actual Star takes readers on a journey over thousands of years and six continents —collapsing three separate timelines into one cave in the Belizean jungle.
An epic saga of three reincarnated souls, this novel demonstrates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, love and hate. The book jumps forward and backward in time among a pair of twins who ruled a Maya kingdom, a young American on a trip of self-discovery, and two dangerous charismatics in a conflict that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change.
In each era, age-old questions about existence and belonging and identity converge deep underground. Because only in complete darkness can one truly see the stars.The Actual Star by Monica Byrne
A lot of what I’ve read about this book suggests that this is a wonderful work in speculative fiction. I love a good sci-fi and one that spans two thousand years, and includes the collapse of the ancient Maya, the present day and a far-future utopia on the brink of civil war? I think it’s safe to say I’m excited about this. Oh and apparently there is queer rep so another tick in the win column. It’s kind of a tome though so I’ll likely put off reading it for a while! 😀