“Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant.”
This is the setting of Piranesi, a beautiful and enormously creative new novel by Susanna Clarke that is equal parts mystery novel, survival story and journey of self discovery. The reader follows Piranesi “The Beloved Child of the House” as he gathers food and supplies from the House’s seas while occasionally receiving gifts from his only friend, the enigmatic Other. As Piranesi journeys through his home, aids the Other in the search for some lost and secret knowledge, and delves into the mysteries of his own past. All the while readers are given glimpses of the strange and wonderful world that Piranesi inhabits, and the many shadowy corners of Piranesi’s own mind.
Piranesi is one of the best books I have read in years, and one that stuck with me long after I had finished it. I’d recommend Piranesi to readers who enjoyed Circe, House of Leaves, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
New movies are on their way, but in the mean time, why not read the books that inspired them? Here are just a few of the books that are being adapted for film and television in 2021. Check them out and read the books before they hit the screen!
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (The Netflix original series, “Bridgerton”)
“The rakish Duke of Hastings will stop at nothing to hold the marriage-mongers and matchmakers of his town at bay, even if it means pretending to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. But strong feelings soon intervene on both sides of this convenient arrangement.”
“….His code name is Mr. Clark. His work for the CIA is brilliant, cold-blooded and efficient…But who is he really? In a harrowing tour de force, Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality to become the CIA legend, Mr. Clark.It is an unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness. Without mercy. Without guilt. Without remorse.”
A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily. They share a passion for Edward Albee and ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love. But soon Emily has to move home to Elba, New York, and he flunks out of school and joins the army. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him.
“Matt Logelin writes a courageous and searingly honest memoir about the first year of his life following the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife.” (Look for the film “Fatherhood” directed by Paul Weitz)
“Linnet Doyle is young, beautiful, and rich. She’s the girl who has everything-including the man her best friend loves. Linnet and her new husband take a cruise on the Nile, where they meet the brilliant detective Hercule Poirot. It should be an idyllic trip, yet Poirot has a vague, uneasy feeling that something is dangerously amiss…”
“Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined.”
“Named one of the best books of the year by the Economist, House Of Gucci tells the remarkable story of the power of the Gucci Dynasty and their famed luxury goods house. While the business was achieving unprecedented success, the family found itself shrouded in personal tragedy.” (Look for the film “Gucci” directed by Ridley Scott)
“Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.” –People
“Written from fifteen-year-old Tess DeNunzio to her little sister Zoe. After Zoe’s accidental death on September 11, 2001-a day so many others died-Tess’s family is numbed by their personal tragedy. Already acutely aware of her odd place in a home where her mother and stepfather now have children of their own, Tess begins her letter as a means of figuring out her own life-from her two-hour-a-day hair and makeup ritual to her complicity in Zoe’s death.”
“Francine Rivers is one of America’s favorite romance writers and a bestselling inspirational author. Her many heartfelt novels have won awards and the adoration of fans across the country. In Redeeming Love, she retells the Biblical story of Hosea, setting it in the 1850s amidst California’s gold country.”
“More than forty years after a car accident causes Jennifer Stirling to lose her memory on the day she planned to leave her husband for a mysterious lover, journalist Ellie becomes obsessed by the story and seeks the truth in the hopes of revitalizing her career.”
“At an English country estate in 1924, an afternoon tryst between Jane, a neighboring servant girl, and Paul, the young man of the estate, marks the end of a secret love affair of about six years. Jane’s narrative moves back and forth from 1924 to the end of the century to reveal a remarkable woman”–
“Two light-skinned African American women try to pass for white to escape racism, and Clare Kendry cuts her ties to the past and to Irene Redfield, ignoring the fact that that racism exists.” — Novelist.
“At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger.”
2020 was a difficult year for everyone, but Quarantine allowed all of us booklovers to “get our read on”. Which means we here at the Red Wing Public Library spent most of 2020 reading. What’s new about that, you ask? Well, all the 2020 new releases of course!
As 2020 ends, we thought we’d share our favorite books of the year for any of you who missed them.