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Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate by James Tynion IV, et. al.
Bird & Squirrel All or Nothing by James Burks
Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely and Lisa ReneƩ Pitts (Narrator)
The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman and George Guidall (Narrator) (re-read)
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and Emily Rankin (Narrator)
Candy Slain Murder by Maddie Day and Laural Merlington (Narrator)
The Dachshund Wears Prada by Stefanie London
Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass
Endangered Species by Nevada Barr and Cindy Williams (Narrator)
Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia and Shayna Small (Narrator)
Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman
Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed
Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Into the Woods by J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
The Marvelous by Claire Kann
Murder Is No Picnic by Amy Pershing and Patti Murin (Narrator)
My Dress-Up Darling, Volume 3 by Shinichi Fukuda
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 14 by Adachitoka
Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink and Stephanie Nemeth-Parker (narrator)
Poultrygeist by Eric Geron and Pete Oswald (Illustrator)
The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman
The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Spy x Family, Volume 6 by Tatsuya Endo
The Suite Spot by Trish Doller
This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds by Danielle Belleny and Stephanie D Singleton (Illustrator)
Yokohama Station SF National by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Illustrator), and Stephen Paul (Translator)

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Our Tragic Universe: 10/26/22

Our Tragic Universe

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas (2010) is at its core, metafiction about storytelling. Meg is an author who has been trying to finish her novel for years, while also being one of a handful of ghostwriters for a children's mystery series.

Meg also sometimes reviews books and one in particular, a theory of how the universe will end, puts her on a path to change her life. She leaves her useless boyfriend, moves out of her damp house, and finally gets started in earnest on her novel.

But mostly this novel is a series of conversations between Meg and the people in her life as they take apart the art of storytelling. They look at basic plots.

All the other Scarlett Thomas books I've read have been about a socially naive character who stumbles upon some universe altering secret. This one has that same promise with the omega point. But as the point of this novel is the challenge of telling a storyless story, this novel is essentially that.

Despite this being metafiction, it also is one of the rare British novels that sits on the road narrative spectrum. Meg, working essentially by herself to better her life, is an orphan traveler (FF). Her destination is a new home (66) and more broadly, a new life. Her route there is the labyrinth (99), represented literally by the labyrinth that opens at the end of the book, but more broadly by the way her decision to change her life results in that transformation.

Five stars

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