These are no-spoilers mentions, not reviews. Do beg, borrow or buy a copy if you think either of these books sound like your kind of thing.
The Final Solution (Michael Chabon) link
If I’m honest, Chabon’s sentences are a challenge to start with, but after a time I stop noticing the grammatical perfection and brain work-out qualities of the prose. I even begin to enjoy the precise language of this short book – really a longer story of perhaps ten thousand words. I like the illustrations too. (More books with pictures!) The only thing I don’t really get is the title. For me, a stronger link to the story would help, which is proven when I lose this book in the midst of reading it and am unable to remember what it’s called. The friend who lent it to me suggests I could be looking for The Final Solution, and my response is ‘No, no, nothing like that, it’s the one about the parrot…’
Nude (Nuala Ni Chonchuir) link
This short story collection contains many unexpected moments within its hundred-odd pages and is guaranteed to attract attention when you read it on the tube. I see the interest that lies in the theme of the nude as an art form, but my favourites among these nineteen stories are not about art, artists and galleries. They’re the tales of everyday lives in which Ni Chonhuir peels back the epidermis to reveal the mess that lies beneath: strange ways to beget a baby in Cowboy and Nelly, how to solve one grief and cause another in Unmothered, or the slow burn of unresolved attraction in To Drift and To Lift, about an Irishman teaching English in an Indian village.