Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

Lively has a keen sense of human interactions. She mines the emotions and actions of people in close relationships quite nicely. In this novel Pauline, her daughter Teresa, son-in-law Maurice, and her toddler grandson Luke spend the summer in a rented house and attached cottage in the midst of farm country just outside London. It’s […]


Confessions by Kanae Minato

Confessions by Kanae Minato

Revenge can have a long shelf life, and often leads to all sorts of unintended consequences. This twisty and often disturbing tale is full of surprises, revealed in the successive confessions of the protagonists involved in the murder of a middle school teacher’s four-year-old daughter. Minato starts slowly and then gradually intensifies the suspense. She’s […]


Advanced Style: Older and Wiser by Ari Seth Cohen

Advanced Style: Older and Wiser by Ari Seth Cohen

This is a welcome sequel to Cohen’s first book Advanced Style  [2014]. If you love people watching and appreciate fantastic looking, interesting women (and a few men) of a certain age, this book is a pleasure to page through. If you are a woman of a certain age, it’s a testament to the idea that […]


The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc

The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc

Beauty knows no national boundaries, and though cultures have different ideas about what is beautiful, one can still recognize that spark of beauty (inner and outer) when it presents itself to you. In this stunningly photographed book, Noroc takes us around the globe to meet women from a large number of cultures. Some photos are […]


Bull by David Elliott

Bull by David Elliott

A powerful and sometimes very funny rethinking of the Minotaur story in verse. Poseidon narrates: Waddup, bitches? Am I right or am I right? That bum Minos deserved what he got. I mean, I may be a god, but I’m not Unreasonable, and when I am, so What?  But Minos, his wife Pasiphae, his engineer […]


The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe

The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe

As one reviewer said, “Few books could be more vital in this particular moment.” Helen Thorpe spends a year in the classroom at South High School in Denver that welcomes immigrants who don’t speak any English. She gets to know all the refugees including immigrants from Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Mozambique, Burundi […]


Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

I like odd books. This qualifies. A Brazilian cult novelist vanishes and her American translator uses the disappearance as an excuse to exit from her life to search for her author. Secrets of translation and word choices, editing, gambling, violence, play out in the plots of the author’s novels and her existence as well as […]


Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

First in the ongoing “October Daye” series, but the world-building and story are fully fleshed out in this novel. McGuire has an encyclopedic knowledge of fairy tales (the dark, un-Disney-fied kind) and folk lore, and they all come out to play here. Your heroine is a half-fey, half-human changeling who just spent the better part […]


I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris

This is one of those gems of a kid’s book that adults will love. It’s packed with clever stuff that your 6-year old will get on one level and you will laugh at on another. It’s a perfect tool to teach the future generation the joys of irony, satire, parody, and what I call slightly […]


City of Spies by Sorayya Khan

City of Spies by Sorayya Khan

Coming of age in Islamabad, preteen Aliya lives a life of secrets and mysteries. Interpreting and misinterpreting the events that put her city at the crossroads of the Cold War, half Pakistani and half Dutch Aliya wonders where her place is and how she fits in. Is her best friend’s father a spy for the […]