Chelka Posladek, Book Seller and Escapist Extraordinaire
Chelka has spent the majority of her professional life working with books and coffee--two things she still can't live without. She prefers to use reading as a form of escapism, so don't ask her about realistic fiction. She prefers books with a magical twist and coffee from Indonesia. Chelka uses her 6-month-old as a guinea pig for new board books, and will happily chat with you about the best titles for babies.
Ursula Todd gets multiple chances at life, trying to prevent pain and find peace. Atkinson has said, “She certainly doesn’t always correct in the right way–but she changes and she changes things.” She does so beautifully, heart-breakingly, poetically. This is truly a WWII book at its core; the bulk of it takes place during the Blitz. And thanks to Ursula’s unique situation, readers experience the war from all angles. It’s always haunting and devastating. This is a long, lovely book about human nature and the human spirit, and–though it’s quite substantial–I didn’t want it to end.
When I’m asked, “What’s it about?” I stumble over my words. I have no idea how to explain such a labyrinthine plot. Area X is dystopian. It’s speculative fiction. It’s a biologist’s account of a post-apocalyptic environment. It’s a hypnotic Twilight Zone episode. It certainly lacks a concrete beginning, middle and end. I don’t know with this is, but I think about it constantly and recommend it all the time
During the years 70-73 AD, Romans were hunting down and slaughtering the Jews. Alice Hoffman recounts the tale of a Roman seige and the Jews’ last stand. The book is told from four different perspectives: four women who’ve taken refuge in this fortress, and who now take care of the doves. Alice Hoffman did years of research before writing this book, and the novel is packed with historical details. Her lyrical language tells the women’s stories of love, loss, family, and personal strength.
Being a King book, this gets billed as a horror more than a mystery. But while there’s a ghost involved, it’s so much more a coming-of-age story than anything else. It takes place at an amusement park in the 1970s, and it’s filled with era-specific details, first kisses, and small-town crime.
I read this book for a class in college, and I’ve been addicted to Winterson ever since. This book is strange and hard to explain. Basically, a huge and ugly woman (who owns tons of dogs) found a boy in a river and decided to raise him. The boy, Jordan, grows up fascinated by traveling, and he goes all over the world with the Navy. I think he also falls in love with one of the 12 dancing princesses. The over-arching theme is about time: about how past, present, and future aren’t really linear, and the all exist in a single moment.