Stuck in the Salt Lake City airport after having a delayed flight out of my hometown in Bozeman, Montana. And, as you all know, when bummer things happen to me, I make myself feel better by purchasing books. It’s a sickening issue I have that needs definite medical attention.
- Arrival by Ted Chiang
I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I went to this movie, and it was incredible. I’ve never fallen so madly in love with a concept before in my entire life.
Previously published as Stories of Your Life and Others. Includes “Story Of Your Life,” the basis for the major motion picture Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker, Jeremy Renner, and directed by Denis Villeneuve.
“Shining, haunting, mind-blowing tales . . . Ted Chiang is so exhilarating, so original, so stylish he just leaves you speechless.” —Junot Díaz
Ted Chiang has long been known as one of the most powerful science fiction writers working today. Offering readers the dual delights of the very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, Arrival presents characters who must confront sudden change. In “Story of Your Life,” which provides the basis for the film Arrival, alien lifeforms suddenly appear on Earth. When a linguist is brought in to help communicate with them and discern their intentions, her new knowledge of their language and its nonlinear structure allows her to see future events and all the joy and pain they may bring. In each story of this incredible collection, with sharp intelligence and humor, Ted Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by wonder.
- The Spy by Paulo Coelho
I’m sure you guys know why I bought this one. But if you don’t know me that well yet… the cover. God damn, is that one beautiful cover.
Although, the ombre spine makes it particularly difficult to sort on my bookcase. #firstworldproblems
In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history’s most enigmatic women: Mata Hari. The story of her celebrated yet mysterious life as an exotic dancer and courtesan, and her controversial execution as a spy during the First World War unfolds as a fascinating first-person narrative of self-creation and bravery.
Her only crime was to be an independent woman: “I do not know if the future will remember me, but if it should, may no one ever view me as a victim, but as someone who moved forward with courage, and paid the price she had to pay.”
On the occasion of the centenary of Mata Hari’s execution for espionage in 1917, Paulo Coelho reconsiders her life and character in a fictional memoir. In a series of letters, written from prison on the eve of her death, Mata Hari reflects on the choices she has made to always pursue her own truth–from her childhood in a small Dutch town, to unhappy years as the wife of an alcoholic diplomat in Java, to her calculated and self-fashioned rise to celebrity in Paris and across Europe as an exotic dancer and confidante to the most powerful men of the time. Though there was little evidence to incriminate her, Mata Hari was unable to escape persecution and prosecution by French military intelligence, and at the novel’s end, Coelho re-creates a final letter, written by Mata Hari’s lawer, Edouard Clunet, that offers a captivating view of Europe at war and the fatal price of suspicion.