Stella Link is singularly awesome because they are letting their favorite bitter little intern (me) have her own month to talk about all the stuff she thinks is awesome. So, get on your reading glasses and find out what the kids think is fresh and happenin' these days!It only seems appropriate to start with my absolute favorite book of all time. (Well, one of them.) My Intro to Literary Genres professor stumbled through a description of this book that went something like this:
There's this really awesome book called House of Leaves and it's by Mark Z. Danielewski. It's like a manuscript written by an old, blind guy who may or may not have seen this documentary that may or may not exist about a house that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Oh, and there's another story in the footnotes written by a guy that found the manuscript in the old blind guy's apartment when he broke in with his friend when the old guy disappeared. There's all kinds of stuff in it that you have to, like, read backwards or upside-down and stuff. Oh, and the book talks about a band that actually exists and they quote from the book in their music. You should check them out, too.
The book centers on this architectural phenomenon, but the more impressive aspect is how the physical book itself forces the reader to experience the madness and confusion along with the characters. Cleverly, the pages of the book extend beyond the cover, which is a touch that I love. The text twists and turns on the page, intricately carving hallways and winding staircases through itself while elaborate passages are (not always) translated into English in footnotes that may or may not actually be there.
If it sounds difficult and infuriating, it is. The pure genius of this novel is that you can never understand or finish it unless you give yourself over to the madness. I actually know a guy who burned it because the book bested him, and, for this, that's the single best recommendation ever.
I will say, though, I recommend the paperback edition as opposed to Kindle. It's really an experiential book, so the layout and turning of pages and colors of words is really important. Just sayin'.
Jerusha got her BA in English from Sam Houston State University. She's an award winning speaker and writer, but prefers to be known as a hipster and a vagabond. You can follow her worldly misadventures on twitter and instagram.