“The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. $26.95
The latest novel from Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”) is set is the distant past in misty Britain. Axl and Beatrice, two elderly Britons, set off across a land filled with ogres and pixies and even a dragon to find their son’s village after a series of calamities in their own village.
Problem is, they — and nearly everyone else they meet — are plagued by forgetfulness of things both big and small, except the fact that there seems to be rampant forgetfulness.
In fact, the forgetfulness itself becomes a patience-trying character in its own right, but Ishiguro does use it rather artfully to raise some serious questions about community and relationships.
— Beth Colvin, email@example.com
“The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami. Knopf, 20s14. $18
In this fascinatingly illustrated novella, a young boy visits a library and, after requesting a book on tax collectors of the Ottoman Empire, is led and locked into the library’s basement.
In order to be released, he must memorize three books based upon his request.
What follows is an imaginative tale filled with several interesting characters — including the mysteriously creepy librarian who locks the boy away, a voiceless ghost of a girl who brings the boy food, a sheepman who plots the boy and girl’s escape, and the boy’s pet starling, who is a key figure to the ending.
An interactive cover and thick tactile pages filled with typewriter font make this a book to treasure in its physical form.
A word of caution — though childhood fears are at the center of the book, this is not a book for children.
— Laura Acosta, Baton Rouge