Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton

Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton

Walton takes the Victorian social novel to new levels by making dragons the main characters. Suddenly, all of the social conventions of the age are backed by biological necessities – the need to have gold for one’s hoard, the need to have a parent’s estate (that is, their body…) divided fairly so one can eat […]


This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

Back and forth in time, back and forth between narrators, this tale of guilt and redemption gradually reveals secrets, humor, scandals, love. Maggie O’Farrell’s books are always surprising and unpredictable, leaving the reader to make her own discoveries. What happens when a famous actress vanishes? When a language-loving linguist finds that words don’t always serve […]


9 1/2 Narrow: My Life in Shoes

9 1/2 Narrow: My Life in Shoes

How could shoe-lover like me pass up a title like this? Patricia Morrisroe is close to my age and, though she grew up on the East Coast in a Catholic school environment, we share many memories of that era’s fashion fads as well as a deep seated need to have the right shoes for the […]


The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

This reads like a gripping adventure novel but it’s actually a non-fiction account of Theodore Roosevelt’s 1914 journey down the River of Doubt, a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil. This exciting tale had me glued to my seat as Teddy, his son Kermit, and the rest of the members of the expedition fought their […]



A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A delightful concept, wonderfully executed. Kell is a magician, one of the last with the power to jump between different versions of London, one of which exists in each different world. The three Londons we see (and the one we don’t) are all beautifully brought to life, as are the characters who inhabit them. Plus, […]


The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

Debut graphic novelist, Thi Bui, offers the story of her family, spanning generations, and their eventual immigration to the US from Vietnam, in this fresh, visually stunning memoir. Each chapter is its own personal, reflective essay, borrowing moments and memories from Bui’s family timeline without oversimplifying any family member’s experience or time in Vietnam’s history. […]


My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Anderson Cooper calls it “heartbreaking” and “quietly dazzling.” Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) calls it “delightful and heartwarming”. I can’t quite even put into words how good this book is. My Brother’s Husband Volume 1 has grabbed me as no other graphic novel has! It is a contemporary story from Japan by one of Japan’s great […]


Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

Really wonderful! Stick with this one – it starts slow, the main character seems arrogant and unlikable, and the setting familiar. As the book continues, though, it becomes apparent that this was all intentional, and the gradual revelations about the characters, their world, and the mystery at the heart of it are all masterfully done. […]


The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

Are we forever defined by place? Hamilton explores that question with the story of the Lombard family told by the youngest member. The Lombards grow apples among other things, but apples are the main crop of their beautiful Wisconsin farm–a farm that’s been held by the family for generations. Frankie, whom we meet first at age 10, […]