Autumn by Ali Smith

Autumn by Ali Smith

Daniel is one hundred and one, lying in a care home on his way to death. Elisabeth, his only visitor, is thirty-two. They have been kindred spirits since their first meeting when she was eight. This story of friendship weaves in and out of time in artistic language and imagery. The wordplay includes puns, repetition, […]


An Elderly Lady is up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Lady is up to No Good by Helene Tursten

Meet Maud. She’s a spunky octogenarian you don’t want to annoy. Her solution to being annoyed is to get rid of the offender. She is diabolically clever, thorough, and completely untroubled by a conscience. Maud is a classic example of a murderous, sociopathic, narcissistic little old lady. Very spry (able to climb the scaffold outside […]


Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Give yourself a treat and listen to this book! The reader, Shvorne Marks, makes you hang on every word-the funny, the silly, the sad and the true. Queenie is a 25 year old Jamaican-Brit who is careening wildly through her life, making one bad decision after another. Her friends, the Corgis, act like a Greek […]


The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Based on the true stories of the brave and intrepid women spies of WWI, this novel flies with excitement, terror, dread. Told in two voices, that of the spy Eve Gardiner, code name Marguerite, as she is recruited and, in spite of enormous fear, acts with great ingenuity, and of Charlie St. Claire, an unmarried […]


Moonglow by Michael Chabon

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

Highly acclaimed author Chabon can certainly turn a phrase, stretch out a cliff hanger escapade, and craft a metaphor that tips into the poetic. I wish he had restrained himself a bit in this semi-autobiographical novelization of his fascinating and enigmatic grandfather. The book could have been a good 25% shorter. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the […]


Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles

Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles

I so enjoyed Jiles’s more recent book, News of the World [2016], that I was eager to read one of her earlier works. This one is a good read though not a great one. It’s a coming-of-age story centered on young Jeanine Stoddard, the middle sister of three girls in a Texas family during the […]


The Bride Test

The Bride Test

The Bride Test is a wonderful romance, written by Helen Hoang, that sensitively deals with autism and immigration issues. Ms. Huong is herself on the autism spectrum and so can share with deep personal insight how that feels. She is also the daughter of a Vietnamese war refuge so she has insight into the Veitnamese […]


The Altruists by Andrew Ridker

The Altruists by Andrew Ridker

Sardonically titled, the only true altruist dies in the beginning, setting her husband and two adult children spiraling downward. Each is in crisis, searching for how to live. All are blind to themselves but quick to point out hypocrisy and self-indulgence in others. It makes for challenging relationships. Written with mocking humor, we watch the […]


Improvement by Joan Silber

Improvement by Joan Silber

Silber’s lively writing style is a pleasure to read in her patchwork novel about how actions of others and acts of fate can improve us, or, in some cases be disastrous. Rayna, single mom, loves Boyd, a good guy with a record. Rayna’s aunt Kiki has a colorful past but now settled, worries about Rayna’s […]


kaddish.com by Nathan Englander

kaddish.com by Nathan Englander

Larry is the fallen-away son in a very Orthodox Jewish family. When his father dies, the clan gathers at his sister’s house to sit shivah, the seven-day mourning period. The whole scene is just torture for poor Larry, who professes no patience for what he considers mere superstition. When he is informed that as the […]