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 Purple Swamp Hen by Penelope Lively

The Purple Swamp Hen by Penelope Lively

In this collection of finely crafted short stories, Lively displays her wit and wisdom and some very nicely honed insights into complicated human relationships. The title story is set back in ancient times on the eve of Mt. Vesuvius’s spectacular eruption. The swamp hen–a very reliable narrator as it turns out–exposes the flawed Pompeius family which […]


The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

Get in on the ground floor of a new, epic fantasy series! Brandon Sanderson has created a unique world – rocky, swept by magical storms, and populated by unique people and animals adapted to their harsh environment. The story follows the lives of three different characters, whose lives are slowly converging due to forces beyond […]


Lotus by Lijia Zhang

Lotus by Lijia Zhang

As the rich get richer in the new China, the lives of the impoverished peasants are frozen in time. Uneducated and unsophisticated, with country accents and habits, they migrate to the cities for better lives. Without any education or connections, they become underpaid factory labor or fall into petty thievery or into prostitution. Lotus is […]


City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

Four London women, friends since college, are now forty-seven and have it all-or all they want. Until, bite by bite, each one’s contented life is nibbled away. Questioning what went wrong, who they have become, who they ultimately want to be, while juggling children, aging parents, partners and work, leads to self-discovery and life changes. […]


Cleopatra’s Sister by Penelope Lively

Cleopatra’s Sister by Penelope Lively

Fate. Karma. Kismet. B’schert (Yiddish). Do you believe in it? Lively’s engaging novel poses this question by creating a tale that knits three storylines. Howard, a paleontologist, Lucy, a free-lance journalist, and the ficticious nation of Callimbria all have histories that culminate in a situation best described by the phrase “wrong place, wrong time,” or, […]


The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper

A polished debut offering from Australia, this really belongs in the mystery stacks. When the rain doesn’t come, when crops wither, when sheep die of thirst, and mortgage payments lapse, Aussies call it “the dry.” Adam Falk returns to his hometown farming community to attend three funerals. It appears that Luke Hadler, husband to Karen […]


All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Rashad is a boy trying to navigate high school. He’s clean cut, an ROTC kid, and he has mad art skills. Quinn is also a boy trying to navigate high school: he’s on the basketball team and he’s really focused on impressing all those college recruiters. Rashad is black and Quinn is white. They have […]


Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest

Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest

An entertaining and deeply creepy novel starring the infamous Lizzie Borden as its heroine.  In this story, she did, in fact, kill her father and stepmother with an ax – but only because they were turning into Lovecraftian monsters.  Now, she lives with her sister and studies in her secret lab, trying to find the […]


The Hamilton Affair: a novel by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman

The Hamilton Affair: a novel by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman

Since all things Hamilton are trendy right now, and because I was lucky enough to score Hamilton tickets, I decided to brush up on my Hamilton history before seeing the show. Truth be told I knew nothing about the first Treasurer of the United States before I read this book (a sad state of affairs […]