Glaciers [NOOK Book]

Overview

Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as...
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Glaciers

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Overview

Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska.

Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories—the remnants—of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Smith’s debut unspools in delicate links of linear thought, told (mostly) in deceptively simple sentences embedded in the consciousness of Isabel, born in the Pacific Northwest and raised in Alaska with her older sister. Isabel dreams of Amsterdam and, “though she has never been, and probably will never go,” she believes everything is perfect there. The story ostensibly covers a single day, but Isabel’s recorded memories reach back to childhood, with incidents in between like a camping trip, an interaction with an astrologer, and a consequential encounter with an immense glacier. Isabel’s love of books leads her to get a job at the library, where she falls for co-worker “Spoke,” an Iraq war veteran whose sudden re-enlistment casts a long shadow, turning Isabel introspective at the festive party she’d planned to attend with him: “Spoke is already halfway across the country, where people are making breakfast, letting dogs out onto dewy lawns, boarding busses and trains for downtowns, lining up in coffee shops,” she thinks, while “n Amsterdam, it is already a lovely afternoon, the leaves turning, fall about to break.” This slim book’s lovely design respects and enhances Smith’s voice, with ample white space on every page and a general eschewing of commas and quotation marks. Lyrical and luminous. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935639213
  • Publisher: Tin House Books
  • Publication date: 1/10/2012
  • Series: A Tin House New Voice
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 430,828
  • File size: 207 KB

Meet the Author

Alexis M. Smith grew up in Soldotna, Alaska, and Seattle, Washington. She received an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College. She has written for Tarpaulin Sky and powells.com. She has a son and two cats, and they all live together in a little apartment in Portland, Oregon.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2012

    Best Discovery of the Year

    Sometimes you find the book, and sometimes the book finds you. This was the case for me when, earlier this year, I walked into the Barnes and Noble in Bozeman, Montana "just to get a latte" (i.e., I wasn't on a typical book-buying mission). I was walking toward the cafe when it happened: Glaciers found me. It was like one of those "meet cute" scenes in movies when the pretty brunette dogwalker and the distracted guy with the briefcase, walking in opposite directions, round a corner at the same time and he ends up tangled in leashes and tails and she knocks the briefcase out of his hand, spilling papers all over the sidewalk. That's how it was for me with Alexis M. Smith's slim, pretty novel. A chance encounter. A walking past, then a double-take and a doubling-back. A glance at the cover. A skim of the plot summary, blurbs and first sentence ("Isabel often thinks of Amsterdam, though she has never been there, and probably will never go."). An eye-poke of interest. An impulse buy.

    It was the best thing I bought all year (and that includes the 2011 GMC Acadia my wife and I just purchased).

    The novel chronicles one day in the life of Isabel, a twenty-eight-year-old library worker, as she repairs damaged books, prepares for a party, and pines for a co-worker, an Iraq War veteran named "Spoke." As a single woman living in Portland, Oregon, Isabel haunts thrift stores and collects second-hand items like postcards, teacups, aprons, dresses--the cast-off remnants which were once new, happy purchases by someone decades earlier. "She feels a need to care for them that goes beyond an enduring aesthetic appreciation," Smith writes. "She loves them like adopted children."

    It's fitting that Isabel collects scraps of the past because she is a character who lives primarily in memory. The book slips seamlessly between the present and Isabel's childhood growing up in Alaska and Portland with her mother, father and sister Agnes. Written in sentences as simple and delicate and beautiful as a single strand of a spider's silk, Glaciers reads like a literal dream. We move through the pages quickly, as if floating just above the words, and it's over before we want it to be. I could have stayed in Isabel's world for a long, long time.

    Glaciers is easily one of the best books I've read this year. It's beautifully packaged by Tin House Books--French flaps, deckle-edge pages, generous white space around the text--and even more gorgeous, chapter by chapter, sentence after sentence, word to word.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Blacklove

    "Please... I was never loved. I changed my name to Blacklove." She whispered. "I never liked my name. Listen. My brother gets on my nook and kes it look like Im evil. He just got off of it so I dont know what he has done." She stood. She looked at Icystar and bowed. "If you wish me to leave I will. Just say so. I will go back to begging for food because i was only taught to kill cats. I neer liked that. I want to be clean. I want starclan. I want to be loved." She stopped. "But if you want me to stay, I will. And I will understand any hate given to me." She sat, waiting for a response. Before anyone could answer she added, "And I understand if you think it is a trick. But its not. I swear."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2012

    warm read

    Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska.

    Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories—the remnants—of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Great!

    This is a great book. Love it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Delightfully written

    Great Writing..... Simple Story line..... Happy summer read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Glacierpaw

    He pads through the icy forest, hoping green leaf would come soon

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    What am I missing here? So many five stars? I found this book to

    What am I missing here? So many five stars? I found this book totally B-O-R-I-N-G and it lacked the punch I expected.....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Nightjay

    I killed icystar for goodness sake.she was an evil cat.she destroyed the clan.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Shadetail

    *pads in silently* May i join IcyStar?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Moonshimmer

    Watches

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Starpaw

    Can i join i am a white she cat with green eyes i need a mentor

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Nightheart to atralgod

    "Cut it out!" She snaps. She dissapeers and is transported to arctic result 1.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Astralgod

    I did not kill icystar...I can bring her back, if you want

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Morph

    Im a cat named lepordpelt i would like to join the clan

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Foxleap

    Hisses. "No. Shes dead. But i will wisely take her place as leader. Since Fireblaze is never on." He whispers. "I shall be back before moonhigh." He says and pads out

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    A kit to Icystar

    My name is fire and that blackscreech cat is evil she is a kitnapper!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Warning

    Do not let Blackscreech join she is evil!Go to Shadow of blood to see for yourself!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    NOOOOOOO

    Please Nooooo

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Crowpelt

    "No. She died by a polar bear or badger."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Shadowfang

    He layed down in the dying sunlight

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

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