Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, the staff from Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins recommends a novel of queer life in Russia, a supernatural horror Western and a Japanese bestseller (and movie!).
By Oksana Vasyakina
From the publisher: From one of Russia’s most exciting new voices, “Wound” follows a young lesbian poet on a journey from Moscow to her hometown in Siberia, where she has promised to bury her mother’s ashes. Woven throughout this fascinating travel narrative are harrowing and at times sublime memories of her childhood and her sexual and artistic awakening. As she carefully documents her grief and interrogates her past, the narrator of Oksana Vasyakina’s autobiographical novel meditates on queerness, death, and love and finds new words for understanding her relationship with her mother, her country, her sexuality, and her identity as an artist.
From Allison, Bookbuyer: An autobiographical novel centered on the author’s journey to return her mother’s ashes to their Siberian hometown after her death, and the complicated mess that can be loss and grief. Interwoven with the main narrative are Vasyakina’s experiences as a young lesbian poet living in Russia, and all of this is rendered in wonderful poetry and prose. Alter is a fantastic translator and I hope Catapult picks up the rest of this loose trilogy.
By Alex Grecian
From the publisher: A ragtag posse must hunt down a witch through a wild west beset by demons and ghosts—where death is always just around the bend — in this new supernatural horror by bestselling author Alex Grecian. Written with the devilish cadence of Stephen Graham Jones and the pulse-pounding brutality of Nick Cutter, “Red Rabbit” is an epic adventure of luck and misfortune.
From Sterling, Bookseller: Looking for a supernatural horror Western with a great cast and sinister-as-all-hell atmosphere? Well then, I’ve got the perfect treat for you! A bounty placed on the witch Sadie Grace’s head spurs into action several groups thirsty for money and magic blood. Among them is our central cast, an unlikely group, thrown together through chance and riding a stolen red carriage.
The prose is detailed but doesn’t drag. I found it to be something I can really sink my teeth into, as I haven’t read a fiction book this long in a bit. So if you’re in the market for something exhilarating and spooky to dig into as the daylight hours start shrinking, I highly recommend “Red Rabbit.”
Days at the Morisaki Bookshop
By Satoshi Yagisawa, translated by Eric Ozawa
From the publisher: The wise and charming international bestseller and hit Japanese movie—about a young woman who loses everything but finds herself — a tale of new beginnings, romantic and family relationships, and the comfort that can be found in books.
From Andrea, Events and Social Media Manager: A sweet and introspective novel about a young woman who loses her boyfriend and her job at once. Jobless with nowhere to go, she ends up living at her uncle’s used bookshop in the Jinbōchō neighborhood of Tokyo. I loved the slow and heartfelt feelings and conversations Takako finds in the bookshop as she falls in love with books and realizes what it means to love and grow as her own person. If you’re looking for a kind and calming read (especially as fall begins), this is the perfect book to pick up.