Title: Goat Mountain
Author: David Vann. He is the author of several previous novels, including Legend of a Suicide and Caribou Island.
Genre: Literary Fiction
Readers: Project manager Andrea, reading teacher Emry, retiree Nancy, administrative coordinator Cyn and editor Kristina.
Summary: In the fall of 1978, on a 640-acre family ranch on Goat Mountain in Northern California, an eleven-year-old boy joins his grandfather, his father, and his father’s best friend on the family’s annual deer hunt.
Every fall they return to this dry, yellowed landscape dotted with oak, buck brush, and the occasional stand of pine trees. Goat Mountain is what this family owns and where they belong. It is where their history is kept, memories and stories that will be shared again by these men. And for the first time, the boy’s story will be added if he can find a buck. Itching to shoot, he is ready.
When the men arrive at the gate to their land, the father discovers a poacher and sights him through the scope of his gun. He offers his son a look-a simple act that will explode in tragedy, transforming these men and this family, forcing them to question themselves and everything they thought they knew.
Our Take: Right away you should know if this book is for you. While one reviewer found she just couldn’t get into it, the other 4 were quickly immersed. Not an easy book, but one that will get deep under your skin. It’s no mistake that two of our reviewers compared it to a Cormac McCarthy novel.
Title: The Explorer
Author: James Smythe. He has published some previous novels through independent presses.
Readers: Administrative coordinator Cyn, and lawyers Cait, Elizabeth H. and Rochelle. (Lawyers and sci-fi, who knew?)
Summary: When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers.
But in space, nothing goes according to plan.
The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedly fail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogy back to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter what happens, the mission must continue.
But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiralling towards his own inevitable death … unless he can do something to stop it.
Title: Little Wolves
Author: Thomas Maltman. He is the author of a previous book, the historical novel The Night Birds.
Genre: Mystery and maybe a little Horror
Readers: Project manager Andrea, administrative coordinator Cyn, retiree Sulyn and dispatcher Melanie.
Summary: Set on the Minnesota prairie in the late 1980s during a drought season that’s pushing family farms to the brink, Little Wolves features the intertwining stories of a father searching for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, and a pastor’s wife (and washed-out scholar of early Anglo-Saxon literature) who has returned to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. A penetrating look at small-town America, Little Wolves weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery; a page-turning literary triumph.
Book: The Other (This is a re-release of the novel, originally written in 1971.)
Author: Thomas Tryon, former actor. Author of other novels including Lady and Night Magic, mostly out-of-print. New Afterword by Dan Chaon.
Genre: Horror, Literary Fiction.
Reviewers: Administrator Cyn, bookseller Pam, writer & editor Kristina, stay-at-home mom Shawna and prosecutor Rochelle.
Publisher Summary: Holland and Niles Perry are identical thirteen-year-old twins. They are close, close enough, almost, to read each other’s thoughts, but they couldn’t be more different. Holland is bold and mischievous, a bad influence, while Niles is kind and eager to please, the sort of boy who makes parents proud. The Perrys live in the bucolic New England town their family settled centuries ago, and as it happens, the extended clan has gathered at its ancestral farm this summer to mourn the death of the twins’ father in a most unfortunate accident. Mrs. Perry still hasn’t recovered from the shock of her husband’s gruesome end and stays sequestered in her room, leaving her sons to roam free. As the summer goes on, though, and Holland’s pranks become increasingly sinister, Niles finds he can no longer make excuses for his brother’s actions.
Thomas Tryon’s best-selling novel about a homegrown monster is an eerie examination of the darkness that dwells within everyone. It is a landmark of psychological horror that is a worthy descendent of the books of James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shirley Jackson, and Patricia Highsmith.