… the grand city of New Coleopolis? In Jay Hosler’sLast of the Sandwalkers, five great beetles set out to explore the deadly desert surrounding their home. (Well, ok, four great beetles and one great big jerk.) They are scientists and adventurers, out to discover what they can about the world outside their city’s walls.
… the guy who went to bed drunk and woke up with horns growing out of his head? Joe Hill’s aptly titled horror novel, Horns, begins just like this when Ig Parrish wakes up with a fresh set of horns and the supernatural power to control other people’s actions.
… motivational posters with “inspiring” quotations and pictures? Zen Pencils, by Gavin Aung Than, is what they want to be when they grow up. Mr. Than takes wonderful quotations by a wide variety of people and draws cartoons to accompany them. The resulting artwork is truly inspirational.
… the civilized dinner between two families that slowly dissolves into violence and savagery? The Dinner by Herman Koch has received a good mix of positive and negative reviews and was named one of the Best Books of 2013, so of course I had to give it a try.