The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Oh man did I ever luck into a run of good books last week. First The Steerswoman, then Exit West, and now The Bear and the Nightingale. It's weeks like last week that make me thankful beyond belief that I'm alive and have so many new, exciting, and surprising books to read. I went into The Bear and the Nightingale with zero expectations, and couldn't have been more pleased with the Russian-flavored fantasy that I found.

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

You would think that, given my ambivalance for all things religious, and for Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend just a couple of weeks ago, that I would have similarly ambivalent feelings about The Red Tent. It is, after all, another fictionalized retelling of a bible story. However, I am pleased to say that that was not the case. The Red Tent is about as different as if can possibly be from Lamb while still also being a retelling of a religious story. While Lamb falls firmly into the category of 'comedy,' The Red Tent is more of a serious coming-of-age story from the point of view of a female character that only gets a couple of sentences in the original story that she appears in: Dinah.

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