Novel

So Much Whining

So Much Whining

When the first six or seven chapters of Jennifer Close’s The Hopefuls were nothing but backstory and a comparison of how vasty superior New York was to Washington, D.C. I should have stopped reading. I didn’t and I gained nothing for having slogged through this book of aimless whining and…
Despicable People, Good Reading

Despicable People, Good Reading

Fern and Edgar Keating are awful people. They are spoiled, wealthy brats who meet, marry, have three children, and live a charmed life bouncing from a home in Boston to a summer home on Martha’s Vineyard, with a brief stint in awful military housing. Things are going swimmingly for them.…
The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library

In Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library, Irene is a librarian spy for a magical library that stands in another plane of existence and stores masterpieces from alternate worlds. We first meet Irene as she’s stealing one of these masterpieces from a magical school like Hogwarts, but as soon as she…
Charcoal Joe

Charcoal Joe

Set in the 1960s, Charcoal Joe, the 14th book in Walter Mosley’s popular Easy Rawlins series, picks up right where Rose Gold left off, with Easy using money he earned from that case to start a new detective agency. When an old friend wanders into the agency talking about a…
The Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs

Nora Eldridge, the main character in Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs is a pissed. The late thirty-something third grade teacher and part-time artist is mad as hell and she’s gonna tell you all about it. Her fury burns on every page and makes a book that builds to a sad-trombone-let-down…
The Book of Unknown Americans

The Book of Unknown Americans

There is a scene in the beginning of Cristina Henrîquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans that shook me. It’s one of those scenes that makes you pause and think about what it must be like to come to America and try to operate in a country where you don’t know…
The Girls

The Girls

The Girls by Emma Cline is a haunting novel set in the late 1960s where Evie, a young, impressionable girl, is drawn into a Manson-like cult. Bouncing between young Evie and her grown up self, Cline beautifully tells Evie’s coming-of-age tale. Most of us probably know the story of the…
Before the Fall

Before the Fall

In the opening of Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall, a private plane crashes, leaving alive just one struggling artist and a small boy, not related to him. At least that’s all we think are alive, because no bodies are found. Where are they and why did the plane crash? It…
Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing

I have a love-hate relationship with Matthew Quick. Loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and The Good Luck of Right Now, couldn’t finish Love May Fail and barely made it through Every Exquisite Thing. In Every Exquisite Thing, star athlete and parent pleaser Nanette O’Hare is just going through the motions.…
The City of Mirrors

The City of Mirrors

I just don’t know what to say about this one. I liked the first book in the trilogy, The Passage, and I loved the second book, The Twelve, but this third book has left me scratching my head. Justin Cronin does the same thing in The City of Mirrors that…
The One-in-a-Million Boy

The One-in-a-Million Boy

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood is about an unlikely friendship between a 104-year-old cranky woman, Ona, and an 11-year-old boy scout, even though we don’t really see much of the boy. For weeks the boy was helping Ona with tasks around her house, but one day his father Quinn…