The People in the Trees is a challenging book. The author, Hanya Yanagihara is of Hawaiian descent, which undoubtedly informs her perspective on her subject. The story sees a group of American scientists travel to a small Micronesian island whose inhabitants seem to have found the secret to immortality. The main character is one of these scientists, named Dr. A. Norton Perina, and the story is framed as being his memoirs.
Douglas Adams is best known for creating The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but he also wrote a series called Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The first book follows Richard MacDuff as he learns of his friend Dirk’s agency, and the true nature of his old Cambridge tutor Reg. It features time travel, a ghost, alien colonists, an Electric Monk, impossible magic tricks, and the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s a funny, madcap adventure featuring Douglas Adams’ trademark wit and humour.
Raymond Carver (1938 – 1988) was a short story writer who published four collections: Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Elephant, and Cathedral. I was first introduced to his writing on a university course, namely ‘Cathedral’, the title story of the collection. I liked it so much that I set about reading as much Carver as I could, and Would You Please Be Quiet, Please? made a real impression on me, influencing my own writing to this day. Reading Cathedral took me back to that time, and it’s become my favourite of his books.
John Milton’s Paradise Lost is one of the great works of English literature. Milton wrote the epic poem in his later years, after he’d become completely blind, dictating it to his assistants and friends. It is a retelling of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, how they committed the first sin and were exiled from the Garden of Eden. It’s inspired countless writers, from William Blake to Phillip Pullman, and for good reason; it’s absorbing, dark, fantastical, and overall a towering achievement.
Atticus Book Reviews
Book reviews and reading recommendations written by volunteers and friends of the shop!