Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan

A wakes every day in a new body-male, female, transgender, addict, jock, mean girl, etc. The change happens at midnight and A is helpless to stop it. This has never been a problem since this is the only life A knows but then A falls in love with Rhiannon. Never having shared the secret of […]


Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Pynchon’s writing has always played with pop culture tropes, but after half a century of writing massive and often baffling novels he finally decided to write something that resembles genre fiction.  (Unsuprisingly this was the first of his books to be made into a movie, 2014’s Paul Thomas Anderson film starring Joaquin Pheonix.) Inherent Vice […]


Not That Sort of Girl by Mary Wesley

Not That Sort of Girl by Mary Wesley

Rose’s husband of fifty years knows that she would never betray him since she’s not that sort of girl. Her lover of fifty years (and Rose) would certainly agree. Rose promised her husband on their wedding night that she would never leave him and through WWII, his frequent absences, his extramarital affairs (unimportant in the […]


Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett

A fascinating and gripping novel of life as a female African American journalist in the early 20th century. A perfect complement to the age of “intersectionality”, Jam on the Vine features Muslim characters, gay and bi-sexual characters, and feminist characters, unafraid to speak out and to be themselves. Like role model Ida B. Wells, Ivo […]


The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold is justly famous for her classic Vorkosigan Saga in science fiction, but this book shows she is a master of fantasy as well. A disgraced and crippled former knight returns to court to tutor the royal princess. There, he must battle old enemies and rivals, while seeking to dismantle the curse that […]


Harnessing Peacocks by Mary Wesley

Harnessing Peacocks by Mary Wesley

Not what I think of when I think of the “nice” English domestic novel. Nice is a word the author, at least  as ruminated about by Hebe, the mysterious freelance unmarried cook with child, despises. Instead it is fun, lively, full of cutting remarks, keen observations (such as how love affairs can help a marriage), […]


The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A meta-fantasy book for those who grew up loving fantasy books, and always harbored the secret hope that one day a wizard would show up on their doorstep with a quest, or a letter of admission to Hogwarts, or a magic wardrobe.  This book explores what happens when that occurs, and you get everything you […]


On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

In about every third book that Elinor Lipman writes, the main character is unsympathetic. I don’t think Faith Frankel, underemployed and living in her claustrophobic hometown, is supposed to be unpleasant but she is whiny and jumps to unsupported conclusions and acts on them. Of course, she did just buy an old rotting bungalow where […]


The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

You already know much of what Kolbert presents here. Life is both tenacious and tenuous. At least five times in the last half-billion years much of Earth’s life has been wiped out by a change in global conditions, the most recent probably caused by an asteroid impact during the Late Cretaceous epoch. Die-offs cascade as […]


Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

When your god dies, it’s time to call in a Craftswoman or Craftsman to resurrect what they can – and find out who murdered him.  Fantastic world-building and compelling characters make for a great start to a new series!