The act of writing always creates something of value. When I'm reading, it is the various manifestations of that inherent and powerful value that I'm looking to capture and share with my fellow book lovers.
From humble days as a bookseller in Colorado, I now live in NYC and work for one of the big publishing houses. I'm always reading a huge variety of books, but you're bound to find more reviews on titles that might not be on every bookstore's shelf quite yet!
And I must also say that it is immensely important to support independent bookstores. Definitely consider shopping with your local bookshop if you don't already!
If you're looking for one then check out the great store I used to work at:
Woo woo! Get it? Scales? Tails? Well you probably will after you read this one if you don't. Anyway, I just recently got aboard the Atwood express and after Maddaddam I've knocked out four of her books. Maddaddam is the conclusion to the trilogy that started with Oryx and Crake in the early 2000s. The first two novels are great setups for this book because they both end at the same scene which is essentially the start of Maddaddam. Reading Oryx and Crake + The Year of the Flood will definitely enhance your experience with this book, but I'm tempted to say that this latest novel is far more reliant on Year of the Floor than O&C. Actually, I might as well say it. You could probably skip O&C and just read YOTF and Maddaddam without much trouble. The characters from YOTF are really developed here (well, some of them I should say) and the O&C characters are present, but they don't feel as pivotal or interesting by this point in the story.
Atwood abandons the multiple narrators here and opts to keep things from Toby's perspective. Through her we see the formation of a post-flood group that includes Crakers, humans, and another player that gets mentioned later in the story. There is something about the whole thing that really makes me recall Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead when I start to think about it.
The highlight for me in this book is the focus on story. We are getting a story ourselves as readers, but Toby is also delivering stories while yet another layer of story is being delivered by Zeb. The famous quote of O&C goes, "Adam named the living animals. Maddaddam names the dead. Do you want to play?" This feels to be rather close to the experience of reading Maddaddam. The memories of a dead world and the past drive just about everything. The best parts of the novel are in these recollections while the novel's present plot is of less interest in my opinion than the origins of Maddaddam, the "myths" that Toby delivers to the Crakers, or why Zeb is terrorizing tourists in a bear costume. Yeah, bear costume. It would be Zeb...
I definitely recommend this one, and I'll also add in that this book felt like the least violent in the trilogy if that makes it more appealing. Comes out September 2013 so keep your eye's peeled!