Dethawing with The Flame Alphabet

Having emerged from another dim December winter, now is a great time to peruse what’s new in the world of literature. More daylight means more reading light, after all, and while I’m told the weather is getting better, a couch and some coffee plus a couple of books still sounds just fine to me.


The Flame Alphabet
By Ben Marcus

With his mesmerizing new novel, The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus envisions a world in which the speech of children literally kills their parents.

Language itself becomes a tool for excruciating destruction and malice in this stunning, horrific and yet funny novel – funny like the serrated edge of a knife. Fast-paced and quick-witted, Ben Marcus is a true mastermind. Not to be missed.



The Fallback Plan
By Leigh Stein

Leigh Stein paints an uncomfortably accurate portrait of twenty-somethings adrift in the twenty-first century with The Fallback Plan.

A subtle depiction of the rather anxious, very unglamorous fate that awaits recent college graduate Esther Kohler. Stein has created a moving, hilarious, and honest character who will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered what the hell they’re going to do with a degree in Drama. A great read. – Casey O.


By Alan Bennett

Celebrated English novelist Alan Bennett peers into the uncomfortable space between people’s public appearance and their private desires with Smut.

Official charade, superficial appearances, gossip, and secrets. Alan Bennett delivers it all in this funny, surprising, and slightly peculiar duo of stories. And smutty? Yes. – Karen



By Marie Lu

Marie Lu imagines a dystopian American future in which the nation has split into two separate countries with her debut YA novel, Legend.

In a distant future, the United States has collapsed into two separate lands – the Republic, a country of order and class, and the colonies, a land in perpetual war with its neighbor. Day and June both live in the Republic but lead very different lives. June is a prodigy brought up to take her place among the nation’s elite. Day, a child of the slums, was destined to die before his wits led him to the top of the Republic’s most wanted criminal list. When an act of murder throws their worlds together, Day and June discover that the Republic may not be all that it seems. – Casey S.


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