Until The Book Thief came out almost exactly a year ago, I had never heard of Markus Zusak. By the time it reached maximum hype, I was in full resist mode. Upon further pressure, I bent and decided to read Zusak's earlier I am the Messenger. If I love it, then I'll tote The Book Thief home. One night of intense sitting-on-the-bathroom-floor-reading later, I go on a Zusak binge. Today I happily usher him into the A List. Not only is he the long-awaited 2nd male author on the list (I'm certain others qualify for induction, I just haven't read everything they've written yet), but his addition makes the list an actual A to Z List. Mr. Alexander to Mr. Zusak. And all those lovely ladies in between.
I feel a bit giddy finally talking to you all about this series. If you'll remember, I fell madly in love with The Q when it came out a few years ago. Now, Beth Brower is writing The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion — a series of novellas set in London in 1883. Each volume is an excerpt from the incorrigible Emma's journals, and the first two volumes are already available with the third on the way soon. I think they'd make rather perfect pandemic reading. Humorous and charming down to their bones, they're just what the doctor ordered to lift your spirits in this uncertain time that just proves to be too much some days. If you're experiencing one of those days, I suggest giving Volume 1 a go (it's only 99 cents on Kindle, $4.99 for a trade paperback copy). It will surprise exactly none of you that I own print and digital editions of both volumes. Miss Emma M. Lion has waited long enough. Come hell or high water (and really, given her track record, both a