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 […]


Code Girls by Liza Mundy

Code Girls by Liza Mundy

Thanks to Masterpiece Theater and the film Imitation Game, many of us are familiar with the amazing code-breaking work done by our British allies at Bletchley Park outside London. At Bletchely a great chunk of the arduous decryption work was done by women–mostly young, well-educated, unmarried, and very eager to help the war effort. Here, […]


News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Tom Hanks is soon to play 72-year old Captain Kidd, veteran of the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. This kind-hearted gentleman travels from small town to small town in Texas, reading the newspapers from around the world in order to soothe people’s worries for just a little while, to take […]


Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

A very literary and literate novel set in the 1890’s, focusing on both the religion and science of the period. A wealthy widow interested in fossils, a precise surgeon who makes a breakthrough in heart surgery, a rector at a church in Essex, a young woman who believes in fair housing, a mother entranced by […]