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2023-03-29 09:30
David Winkler’s dreams come true—literally.  However, sometimes they are nightmares, such as the one in which he fails to save his infant daughter from a flood.  Rather… Read More
2023-03-22 09:30
Theo is an astrobiologist whose 9-year-old son Robin is prone to outbursts and may be on the autism spectrum.  Robin’s behavior has deteriorated since his mother died in a car acc… Read More
2023-03-08 10:30
It’s ironic that a book about a fast horse proceeds at a slow trot rather than a gallop.  It does gather speed in the home stretch but not enough.  Part of my problem is that… Read More
2023-03-01 10:30
Wallace is an overweight gay Black biochemistry grad student who feels like he is swimming upstream in an all-white world.  He describes himself as shy, but the dialog indicates otherwi… Read More
2023-02-22 10:30
History does tend to repeat itself, especially where families are concerned.  Mick Riva abandons his wife and children, multiple times, after he becomes a superstar singer.  His gl… Read More
2023-02-15 10:30
The title character of this bleak, semi-autobiographical novel is a gay boy growing up with an alcoholic mother in Glasgow, and to describe it as dreary and depressing is a huge understateme… Read More
2023-02-08 10:30
It’s Thanksgiving in 1941 in Honolulu, and we readers know what’s coming.  Joe McGrady, a police detective investigating a double homicide, heads to Hong Kong to track down… Read More
2023-02-01 10:30
Edie is a 23-year-old Black woman who is barely subsisting in every way and whose roach-infested apartment is about to be yanked out from under her.  So is her job, for that matter, and… Read More
2023-01-25 10:00
Stephen King is a master of suspense, and this book exudes it, despite its overly familiar plot devices—a book within a book and a hired assassin planning to retire after one last lucr… Read More
2023-01-18 10:00
After I finished his book, I was stunned to discover that the author is a woman.  Her focus is on four male characters who meet in college and become lifelong friends; the female charac… Read More
2023-01-11 10:30
Larry Lavin was a smart and charming guy who came to be a massive cocaine dealer while attending the University of Pennsylvania.  After college he indulged in a hedonistic lifestyle, fu… Read More
2023-01-04 10:30
The Oppenheimer triplets despise one another, for reasons that I never understood.  Their family is extremely wealthy, but true affection is in short supply.  In fact, Sally and Le… Read More
2022-12-28 10:30
In a moment of pique, Giovanna's father says that Giovanna's face has become like that of his estranged sister, Vittoria.  Having never met the much maligned Vittoria, Giovanna becomes… Read More
2022-12-21 10:30
Piranesi is a sweet and innocent young man who inhabits a world of fifteen people, thirteen of whom are dead.  The only other living person he has ever seen is an older man whom he call… Read More
2022-12-11 22:28
In 1990 Budapest—not Prague—a group of half a dozen twenty-somethings congregate at bars and jazz clubs.  All are expats, trying to make their mark.  John, a journalist… Read More
2022-12-07 10:30
Why are so many atrocities committed in the name of religion?  I was not familiar with the Irish Magdalene Laundries until I read this book, and I still can’t believe they existed… Read More
2022-11-30 10:30
This sprawling, multi-generational novel takes place in Zambia, beginning with its colonial beginning as Northern Rhodesia.  The family tree shown at the beginning of the novel is inval… Read More
2022-11-23 10:30
Naamah is Noah’s wife, as in Noah of the Old Testament.  This is not a biography by any stretch.  Magical realism abounds, but then the premise of having two of every animal… Read More
2022-11-09 11:00
Among the plethora of recent novels about women working in counterintelligence during wartime (The Lost Girls of Paris, The Book of Lost Names), this one stands out and ranks right up there… Read More
2022-11-02 10:00
This novel revolves around three characters, whose pivot point is Jivan.  She quit school, where PT Sir was her physical education teacher, after passing her 10thgrade exams.  Jiva… Read More
2022-10-26 09:00
Historical fiction can be educational, as is this novel about the Richmond Theatre fire of 1811.  I had never heard of this disaster, which Patrick Henry’s daughter, Sally, surviv… Read More
2022-10-19 09:30
Joy Delaney has gone missing, but her four adult children and her husband take their sweet time about reporting her disappearance to the authorities.  She left them all a cryptic text m… Read More
2022-10-12 09:30
Antonia is still mourning the death of her beloved husband, Sam, after almost a year and finds herself at loose ends, until suddenly she has too much on her plate.  Her oldest sister, I… Read More
2022-10-05 10:00
Jake Bonner is a writer whose first novel was reasonably successful but whose subsequent efforts have been mediocre at best.  After a student named Evan Parker, who happens to be a dece… Read More
2022-09-28 09:30
Ray Carney is mostly an honest entrepreneur who owns a home furnishing store in Harlem in the early 1970s.  However, he does occasionally deal in stolen merchandise but only on a small… Read More
2022-09-21 09:00
Yikes, reading this book was a chore.  This book is The Lord of the Rings on steroids, or maybe testosterone, complete with a wicked enchanted forest, but not nearly as engrossing or en… Read More
2022-09-07 09:00
Love comes in many forms, as does family.  In this case, we have a family of unrelated people, mostly—mostly people and mostly unrelated.  A London bar serves as the gestatio… Read More
2022-08-31 05:30
The format of this book—a TV script—was very off-putting for me.  Plus, the author blurs the line between real life and Hollywood make-believe to the point that I was very c… Read More
2022-08-24 05:30
Who even knew there was such a thing as a playgroup musician?  Claire is one, having been dumped by her band that is now hugely popular without her.  She may be struggling to make… Read More
2022-08-17 05:30
Two sisters, July and September, are close in age but complete opposites in personality; they operate almost like conjoined twins with September clearly in charge.  They flee Oxford wit… Read More
2022-08-10 05:30
Sylvie Pelletier is a 17-year-old in 1907, living in a Colorado mining community where the workers, including her father, desperately need to unionize.  The work is dangerous, and the p… Read More
2022-08-03 05:30
Lucy Barton narrates this engaging novel in a conversational tone as she negotiates her grief over the death of her beloved husband, David, while at the same time dealing with her ex-husband… Read More
2022-07-27 06:00
Casey is a 31-year-old aspiring writer with crushing student loan debts that she acquired after blowing off a golf scholarship.  Barely keeping the creditors at bay, she waits tables at… Read More
2022-07-24 21:17
Nineteen-year-old Rosie, an American, has been hired as an au pair by a French couple, Marc and Nicole.  We learn early in the novel that she has given her infant daughter to her sister… Read More
2022-07-13 05:30
Someone has slashed Daniel Sutherland’s throat.  Miriam, who lives in the houseboat next to his, discovers the body.  As it turns out, Daniel was not a nice guy, and several… Read More
2022-07-06 06:00
Three main characters inhabit this novel—Clara, Liam, and Elizabeth, each of whom headlines the chapters.  Clara is eight years old, and her 16-year-old sister Rose has disappeare… Read More
2022-06-29 05:30
A group of families are vacationing together in a very large waterfront house.  The kids, completely unsupervised except by one another, are the main characters, with the heavy-drinking… Read More
2022-06-15 06:00
This novel begins with a seemingly innocuous family vacation in a remote Airbnb but soon becomes one terrifying incident after another.  Clay and Amanda are parents to two teenagers, Ro… Read More
2022-06-12 21:09
This is not at all the book I expected from an Indian-American man.  Nor would I have expected to enjoy a book that celebrates motherhood, integrity, and doing the right thing.  Th… Read More
2022-06-08 05:30
Now that 18-year-old Emmett is out of jail, he and his 8-year-old brother, Billy, plan to travel west to start a new life.  However, their plans are quickly defenestrated by Duchess and… Read More
2022-06-01 06:00
I love the nicknames in this book, especially the men’s, and they make it easy to keep up with who’s who.  (Most of the women are Sister Somebody, and I could not keep them… Read More
2022-05-29 21:36
This book is so not your typical slavery novel; it’s much more nuanced, leaving the brutal beatings and separation of families to other writers.  In fact, it’s mostly an adv… Read More
2022-05-25 05:30
The best thing I can say about this book is that it was a fast read, because it certainly did not live up to the hype surrounding it.  Given its popularity, my expectations were high, b… Read More
2022-05-18 19:17
Jules Moreau, the melancholy narrator of this German novel, is a happy, boisterous 11-year-old until his parents perish in a car accident.  He and his older siblings, Liz and Marty, are… Read More
2022-05-08 21:12
Vivek Oji is a young Nigerian who has blackout spells, which Vivek and cousin Osita hide from both their families.  However, that is not Vivek’s biggest secret.  In fact, I h… Read More
2022-05-04 05:00
Klara is an artificial friend, AF for short, whom we meet while she is on display in a store, waiting to be purchased.  She becomes the companion of 14-year-old Josie, who suffers from… Read More
2022-04-30 21:46
Mr. Stevens has been an English butler for all of his adult life.  It is now the 1950s, and he is on his way to visit a former housekeeper, Miss Kenton, who has written to him.  Du… Read More
2022-04-27 05:30
Mike’s Japanese mother comes from Japan to visit Mike in Houston just as he is leaving for Japan to be with his long-absent dying father.  Talk about ships passing the night.&nbsp&hell…Read More
2022-04-20 06:00
From the title we can guess this is a book about marriage, and it is.  The union of the diminutive Annie, a photographer, and Graham, a larger-than-life bookstore owner, seems almost to… Read More
2022-04-17 21:08
Nina is sometimes the first-person narrator of this immersive family drama and sometimes not, and she is not really the central character, if there even is one.  The fourth of six child… Read More
2022-04-06 05:30
Two girls, Marian and Hadley, are both raised by uncles, a century apart.  Hadley is an actress whose career has been all but derailed by scandal.  The role of Marian Graves in a m… Read More
2022-03-23 06:00
The lives of the main characters in this book swirl around a remote hotel near Vancouver.  This hotel is the hub in which their lives briefly intersect, and then they scatter--mostly.&n&hell…Read More
2022-03-16 06:00
Inspired by her grandfather’s fight to save his Chippewa tribe from forced assimilation, Louise Erdrich brings us another of her signature novels about hope and humanity.  This ti… Read More
2022-03-13 20:57
Again, we have a book in need of a family tree diagram.  This novel covers multiple generations of multiple families on a Chippewa reservation in North Dakota but is focused on the Lama… Read More
2022-03-09 07:00
The wildly scattered timeline in this novel finally settles down in the second half, resuming the opening scene of Hadia’s wedding.  Her long-lost brother, Amar, is in attendance… Read More
2022-03-02 06:30
Gifty, the first-person narrator, was born in the U.S. after her parents and older brother, Nana, moved to Huntsville, Alabama.  Gifty’s mother battles depression, and her brother… Read More
2022-02-23 07:00
At first I thought this book took place in the future under a reactionary, repressive government, but, no, it’s Belfast in the 1970s.  (So glad I read Patrick Radden Keefe’s… Read More
2022-02-16 06:30
The title sounds like a romance novel; however, this is anything but.  Nor is it a love letter to Odessa, Texas, where it takes place in the 1970s.  A local oil worker, Dale Strick… Read More
2022-02-09 07:00
Sissy Radley has been dead for thirty years after a she was hit by a car the age of seven.  The drunk driver was 15-year-old Vincent King, who is now being released from prison.  H… Read More
2022-01-26 07:00
Something about this novel makes me think of a Nancy Drew mystery, although Nancy Drew is a more competent sleuth than the two women who headline this novel.  In 1913, Laura’s hus… Read More
2022-01-19 06:00
Val’s twin brother Andy has just died of an apparent suicide doing research on a remote island above the Arctic Circle.  Now Wyatt, Andy’s friend and colleague, has invited… Read More
2022-01-17 00:30
Four women embark on their annual adventure/vacation—whitewater rafting in Maine.  Pia has cooked up this idea and then convinced the other three to go along, as she always does… Read More
2022-01-12 07:00
Once again Jennifer Egan takes us on a wild ride through the lives of multiple connected characters.  We start with Bix, the head of a facebook-like company that takes sharing memories… Read More
2022-01-05 07:00
This troubling novel revolves around Isra, a Palestinian woman who comes to live in Brooklyn as the wife of a Palestinian man whom she barely knows, and her daughter Deya.  A third woma… Read More
2021-12-29 09:30
I am not a Kristin Hannah fan, but I admit that I did like this book more than I liked The Nightingale.  Her writing style, or lack thereof, just did not get on my nerves as much here… Read More
2021-12-22 11:00
This beautifully written novel moves along solemnly until it erupts, albeit somewhat quietly.  It’s the story of Christine and Alex, who are very close friends with Lydia and Zach… Read More
2021-12-19 22:55
Here we have another novel, like Sarah Blake’s The Guest Book, in which adult siblings convene in their dilapidated family home for three weeks to decide what to do with the house.&nbs&hell…Read More
2021-12-15 09:30
The author is a former trial lawyer, and it shows.  This courtroom drama takes place one year after an arsonist killed a woman and a child in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber (HBOT)… Read More
2021-12-08 08:30
Franny Lynch suffers from compulsive wanderlust.  I don’t know if that’s a real affliction, but she can’t seem to stay in one place for long, abandoning loved ones wit… Read More
2021-12-01 08:30
Like Hidden Figures, this novel focuses on how brilliant female mathematicians were marginalized, particularly in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.  At an early age, Katherine is able to sol… Read More
2021-11-24 08:00
A variety of first person narrators, including a dead man, tie this novel together in an intimate way.  These narrators are all very candid, but, particularly in one case, the author cl… Read More
2021-11-21 22:41
 Mustafa is a young black man in northern Africa in the 1500s who sells himself into slavery to save his family from starvation.  He soon finds himself in the New World on an ill-f… Read More
2021-11-17 08:30
I count myself as a John Grisham fan, as I’ve read many of his books and really liked most of them.  The Street Lawyer is still my favorite, and I may reread it one of these days… Read More
2021-11-14 22:24
No courtroom drama or trial lawyers populate this 2005 novel from John Grisham.  Here Grisham dips his toe in the espionage genre, sort of.  Joel Backman finds himself suddenly par… Read More
2021-11-10 08:00
The ever blunt and prickly Olive Kitteredge is back and in even better form this time around.  It is rare that I love a sequel more than the original, but that is certainly the case her… Read More
2021-11-09 23:28
One could say that Elizabeth Strout makes ordinary people compelling, but, actually, this book is populated with characters who are anything but ordinary.  Lucy Barton, from Strout&rsqu&hell…Read More
2021-11-08 21:27
I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Strout’s writing but not of this book, mostly because I found the main character so unappealing.  Tyler Caskey is a great orater and the pastor of a c… Read More
2021-11-07 22:08
This is one of those books where I can’t quite put my finger on why I liked it so much.  The novel takes place during one summer in the lives of a single mother, Isabelle, and her… Read More
2021-11-03 07:00
I very rarely read a collection of short stories, but I read this one for book club, and I do really like Nicole Krauss.  I much prefer characters that mature over the course of a novel… Read More
2021-10-27 08:00
When Mussolini’s forces invade Ethiopia in the 1930s, they encounter a rebel army that is motivated but poorly equipped.  How the Ethiopians prevail is the stuff of myth, but this… Read More
2021-10-20 07:00
Before reading this book, I really knew very little about the decades-long violence in Northern Ireland.  I would characterize it as a long-running civil war between the majority Protes… Read More
2021-10-13 07:30
This book is a series of vignettes, punctuation optional, each of which focuses on a single person.  Most of these persons are black women of varying ages, education levels, economic si… Read More
2021-10-06 07:00
This book falls short when compared with O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and This Must Be the Place.  At least in this example, her historical fiction does not… Read More
2021-10-05 21:22
I decided to immerse myself in fiction about Shakespeare after finishing Hamnet.  In this book we have two semi-parallel storylines.  One, of course, imagines Shakespeare as an eig… Read More
2021-10-03 21:55
Daniel Sullivan is a charismatic American linguist living with his eccentric wife and kids in Ireland.  Their home is so remote that twelve gates must be unlatched and relatched when dr… Read More
2021-09-29 07:30
Five disparate storylines have at least one thread in common—their connection to an ancient Greek text.  Four of the storylines focus on resourceful adolescents, and all five narr… Read More
2021-09-22 07:30
I have not watched any episodes of the TV series based on Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, but apparently in this book she makes an effort not to contradict the TV series.  Thi… Read More
2021-09-21 21:04
I love most of Margaret Atwood’s stuff, but this book is a little too offbeat for me.  Felix is a theatre festival director whose renderings of Shakespeare’s plays have beco… Read More
2021-09-20 21:55
I have to confess that I barely remember anything about the first two books in this series—Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.  No matter.  Toby and Zeb and a few other… Read More

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