Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Talk about an interesting perspective. The narrator of McEwan’s latest is the unborn child (a boy!) of Trudy and John.  Unfortunately Trudy and John are separated (mostly Trudy’s doing). She’s been having an affair with Claude, John’s brother, and the two of them are plotting John’s murder by anti-freeze mixed in to his favorite smoothie. […]


The Golden Age by Jane Smiley

The Golden Age by Jane Smiley

The third part of Jane Smiley’s broad family saga takes the Langdon’s into the future and beyond. Even more than in the first two parts, (Some Luck and Early Warning) she shows us how the macro events of politics in the U.S. (hot issues, financial dealings, scandals, economic changes, environmental policy) effects the micro events […]


The War that Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Cruel and neglectful are the kindest things to say about these two English children’s mother. When they are evacuated to the countryside to avoid the Blitz, they are immigrants in a new, strange land. Understated, sad and triumphant, this is an important book for adults and children.


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield

Wow! As re-tellings go this is a doozy. Sittenfield has lifted the whole of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and time-traveled it to Cincinnati, 2016. Every character is there in some form or another, sometimes as a polar opposite of the original. Darcy is a top neurosurgeon; Liz Bennet, a feature writer for a trendy women’s […]


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Widowed bookstore owner on a Massachusetts resort island finds himself the father of an abandoned baby girl who ushers in a whole new course of life for him and his bookstore. A bit sappy, very romantic (in a good sort of way) with much incidental literary criticism that’s nicely woven into the fabric of this […]


Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Judge this book by its cover, chilling and seductive. In a world where death and disease have been conquered, state-sanctioned Scythes harvest the living to keep the population in check. Citra and Rowan are reluctant apprentices who are thrust into the corrupt and competitive Scythedom where only one of them will survive.


The Portable Veblen

The Portable Veblen

Veblen, named after radical sociologist Thorstein Veblen, is a charmingly quirky young woman (convinced that the squirrels are wise and helpful and interested in her life) affianced to the wrongest guy she could have found. Paul is a brilliant medical researcher, very materialistic and ready to sell his soul (almost) to get FDA approval on […]


Half A King by Joe Abercrombie

Half A King by Joe Abercrombie

Yarvi is a man with one arm in a culture that values strength. He is also a prince, and his father’s one surviving heir, sworn to win back the throne that should rightfully be his. Because this is Joe Abercrombie, you can expect plenty of dark humor, moral ambiguity, unexpected twists galore, and for at […]


Masters of the Games and Wind Sprints by Joseph Epstein

Masters of the Games and Wind Sprints by Joseph Epstein

Here at the EPL Reader’s Services desk, a good day might include cheerful exchanges with patrons buoyed by a Cubs victory. A very good day requires only a visit from Joe Epstein. When Mr. Epstein approaches the desk, you’re in for an amusing story or three. The humor is wry, the manner puckish, the delivery […]


Son-in-Law

Son-in-Law

This is, by far, my most favorite fish out of water story.  Becca, a farm girl from South Dakota determined to make a new start for herself by attending college in LA.  When she gets there, she realizes she is completely uncomfortable with the California lifestyle; she misses her boyfriend, her grandpa, and her home. Enter […]