Welcome to the newest weekly feature here at Bookshelf Fantasies… Shelf Control!
Shelf Control is all about the books we want to read — and already own! Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available, and in most cases, sitting right there on our shelves and e-readers.
Want to join in? See the guidelines and linky at the bottom of the post, and jump on board! Let’s take control of our shelves!
My Shelf Control pick this week is:
Author: Max Barry
Length: 390 pages
What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):
At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematics–at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as “poets”, adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.
Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization’s recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school’s strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell–who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.
Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he’s done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.
As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless. Max Barry’s most spellbinding and ambitious novel yet, Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love–whatever the cost.
How I got it:
It’s been on my “want” list for a while, and I finally came across a copy at a used book store.
When I got it:
Earlier this year.
Why I want to read it:
I remember reading a review when this book was first released, and it sounded like just the sort of odd read that occasionally appeals to me. A novel that has the use of language and poetry as secret powers sounds like such fun. I really do want to read it… soon!
Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:
- Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
- Add your link below!
- And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
- Check out other posts, and have fun!
For more on why I’ve started Shelf Control, check out my introductory post here, or read all about my out-of-control book inventory, here.
And if you’d like to post a Shelf Control button on your own blog, here’s an image to download (with my gratitude, of course!):