Skip to content

Today's Hours: Thu: 9 am – 9 pm

View Hours

Mon – Thu: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri: 9 am – 6 pm
Sat: 9 am – 5 pm
Sun: 12 – 5 pm

View Closures

Mary’s Pick of the Week: Jewel Box: Stories by E. Lily Yu 

Jewel Box cover

Like many of us, I usually come up with a reading resolution each year.  This time around, I told myself I’d read more short stories and Jewel Box: Stories, by E. Lily Yu is the perfect collection to start with.   By turns sweet, funny and devastating, Yu chronicles many adventures and while it’s pretty audacious to name your book “Jewel Box”, each entry is a gem.

We begin with a story of familial duty.  Fareed, with the help of the Angel Gabriel, visits his son in Miami via magic carpet.  Fareed’s wife worries about their boy, imagining he fails to call due to dire illness or imprisonment, but Fareed chalks it up to “the cheerful thoughtlessness of the young.”  Such phrases abound in this book – be prepared to pause every few pages to let her incandescent writing sink in.  She is a master of world-building and can transport the reader with just a few well-placed words.

Yu gives fresh life to the commonplace – I’m not sure I will ever look at streetlights, binoculars or hornets’ nests the same way ever again.  Take, for instance, the nests in the village of Yiwei. Not only are they revealed to be precise maps of the lands around them, Yu also gives us detailed insight to the social structure of the insects within, imbuing them with unique personalities.

If you are a fan of Kelly Link or Ray Bradbury, these stories will truly astonish.  Yu’s won multiple awards and her stories have been finalists for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards.  She creates a whole universe that is hard to define in a book that’s impossible to put down.

Categories: Books and More

Tags: Books and More

Cook Memorial Public Library District

Install Cook Memorial Public Library District

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”