Maggie
Stiefvater

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Books! Books! Books!

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My novel, All the Crooked Saints, comes out tomorrow (10/10), but since I’ll be talking about that tomorrow, I thought today I’d instead talk about books that you could also snag while you were wandering or clicking through a bookstore — these are books I’ve either loved, have just picked up, or are about to pick up myself.

Titles and first lines:

LESS, by Andrew Sean Greer.

From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad. Look at him: seated primly on the hotel lobby’s plush round sofa, blue suit and white shirt, legs knee-crossed so that one polished loafer hangs free of its heel. The pose of a young man. His slim shadow is, in fact, still that of his younger self, but at nearly fifty he is like those bronze statues in public parks that, despite one lucky knee rubbed raw by schoolchildren, discolor beautifully until they match the trees. So has Arthur Less, once pink and gold with youth, faded like the sofa he sits on, tapping one finger on his knee and staring at the grandfather clock.

DISAPPEARED, by Francisco X. Stork.

On the morning of November 14, the day she was kidnapped, Linda Fuentes opened the door to my house, where my family was having breakfast. As usual, I wasn’t ready. 

ABSOLUTELY ON MUSIC, by Haruki Murakami & Seiji Ozawa.

Until we started the interviews in this book, I had never had a serious conversation with Seiji Ozawa about music. True, I lived in Boston from 1993 to 1995, while he was still music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and I would often go to concerts he conducted, but I was just another anonymous fan in the audience.

WILD BEAUTY, by Anna-Marie McLemore.

Later, they would blame what happened on the little wooden horses. Estrella had found them when she was five, the set of them dust-frosted and forgotten on a high shelf. They had been small enough to fit in her hands, carved wooden wings sprouting from their backs.

LOVE MINUS EIGHTY, by Will McIntosh.

The woman across the aisle from Rob yammered on as the micro-T rose above street level, threading through the Perrydot Building, lit offices buzzing past in a colorful blur. He should have taken his Scamp. Public transport was simpler, but he always seemed to share a compartment with someone who didn’t have the courtesy to subvocalize.

MOONGLOW, by Michael Chabon.

This is how I heard the story. When Alger Hiss got out of prison, he had a hard time finding a job. He was a graduate of Harvard Law School, had clerked Oliver Wendell Holmes and helped charter the United Nations, yet he was also a convicted perjurer and notorious as a tool of international communism. He had published a memoir, but it was dull stuff and no one wanted to read it.

I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER, by Erika L. Sanchez.

What’s surprised me most about seeing my sister dead is the lingering smirk on her face. Her pale lips are turned up ever so slightly, and someone has filled in her patchy eyebrows with a black pencil. The top half of her face is angry — like she’s ready to stab someone — and the bottom half is almost smug. This is not the Olga I knew.

THE STONE SKY, by N. K. Jemisin.

Time grows short, my love. Let’s end with the beginning of the world, shall we? Yes. We shall. It’s strange, though. My memories are like insects fossilized in amber. They are rarely intact, these frozen, long-lost lives. Usually there’s just a leg, some wing-scales, a bit of lower thorax—a whole that can only be inferred from fragments, and everything blurred together through jagged, dirty cracks.

THUNDERHEAD, by Neal Shusterman.

Peach velvet with embroidered baby-blue trim. Honorable Scythe Brahms loved his robe. True, the velvet became uncomfortably hot in the summer months, but it was something he had grown accustomed to in his sixty-three years as a scythe. He had recently turned the corner again, resetting his physical age back to a spry twenty-five — and now, in his third youth, he found his appetite for gleaning was stronger than ever.

STRANGE WEATHER, by Joe Hill.

Shelly Beukes stood at the bottom of the driveway, squinting up at our pink-sandstone ranch as if she had never seen it before. She wore a trench coat fit for Humphrey Bogart and carried a big cloth handbag printed with pineapples and tropical flowers. She could’ve been on her way to the supermarket, if there were one in walking distance, which there wasn’t. I had to look twice before I registered what was wrong with the picture: She had forgotten to put on her shoes, and her feet were filthy, almost black with grime.

Maggie Stiefvater
Hi, I'm Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night. I live an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dogs. I’m the author of the Books of Faerie (LAMENT and BALLAD); the bestselling SHIVER trilogy (SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER), and THE SCORPIO RACES.

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Copyright 2012