Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Addie and Louis are elderly acquaintances in small town Holt, Colorado. They strike up an unusual friendship, sharing a bed at night to talk and hold hands in order to conquer their nighttime blues. People gossip, relationships are tested and built. This lovely story is a fitting final book for the author of the quiet […]


The Extra by A. B. Yehoshua

The Extra by A. B. Yehoshua

Noga, Hebrew for Venus, is a divorced Israeli harpist, who plays in a Dutch orchestra. After her father in Jerusalem dies, her brother calls her back to help their mother decide whether to stay in their childhood apartment in a neighborhood that is becoming daily more full of ultra-religious Jews or move to assisted living in […]


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 […]


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), […]


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 […]


Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is a story of terror and love. Using frame-style narratives, Danielewski draws us into two tales: Johnny Truant’s story is told through his diary entries; Will Navidson’s through videotape.  Johnny Truant, a troubled and increasingly paranoid employee in an L.A. tattoo parlor, discovers the writings of a reclusive old man […]


Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak

Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak

“Aidan Lockwood feels like he’s been asleep, with each day as hazy and unremarkable as the one before it. When is former best friend, Jarrod, moves back to town suddenly the veil begins to lift. What Aiden discovers is that his life is haunted by the stories and magic of his family.” So, this book […]