Books that tore me wide open.
Hanya Yanagihara$18.00 $16.56
You can read my full Goodreads review here (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22822858-a-little-life?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=2XOpKXpAhk&rank=1) but since reading another of her books I've since decided that HY is probably a sadist.
Patrick Ness and Jim Kay$12.00 $11.04
"Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak? havoc, wrought. crying migraine for sure tomorrow.
David Wroblewski$16.99 $15.63
I'm not giving away any more than the book flap in saying that it is basically a retelling of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays- and not one of the happy ones- and dogs are some of the major characters. So it is ridiculously heart-wrenching, and very close to not-worth-it. But I think I have to come down on the side of "worth it".
Octavia E. Butler$16.00 $14.72
Profoundly human, and profoundly disturbing. Butler effectively uses an old fantasy/sci-fi trope (time travel to some alien and terrifying locale) to illustrate the horrors of our own too-recent history. But the horrors aren't really the main point - the human capacity to adjust to any situation, with all the positives and negatives that entails - is. As well as how hopelessly complicated and confusing human relationships are - in general, but particularly when race, gender, and power are thrown into the equation. Unsettling.