Author Lemony Snicket, aka Daniel Handler, what are you ...
Right now I'm reading a novel called The Big Why by Michael Winter, who is a Canadian author. In this book he tackles one of my favorite themes in all of literature: People all alone in a very, very cold climate getting very bad ideas. It's about Rockwell Kent, the early 20th-century illustrator. There are quite a lot of people in the book who go off wandering late at night in the cold and then wish they'd brought a torch and warmer clothing.
I just finished a novel called The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian, which is somewhat post-apocalyptic in nature. It's about an enormous flood. It takes place inside a children's hospital which is surrounded by miles of water. I didn't mean to read it around the anniversary of the New Orleans flood, but that's when I ended up reading it. It's a science-fiction premise, but it's largely an emotional book.
Tom Drury has a new novel. One of my favorite novels on earth is his second novel, The Black Brook. I just read his fourth novel, which is called The Driftless Area. It is a noir, which is surprising. It is also full of deadpan comedy. It's about a young man who is a bartender in a rather isolated community in the Midwest and he stumbles upon an evil plot involving a suitcase full of money and a mysterious fire and a femme fatale. I really liked it.
I really like the author Meg Rosoff, who had a book called The Way We Live Now about a strange war in England. Some children find themselves alone in a house, running out of food – in very desperate circumstances. I like children's books with desperate circumstances.