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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This was a powerful book. Somehow it tackles a really emotional subject but doesn’t leave you a weepy, nose-blowing mess. It begins with the disappearance and death of sixteen-year-old Lydia in a 1977 Ohio suburb. Her family struggles to understand what happened to her, and why. Wasn’t she an average, well-adjusted teenager? Lydia is dead. … Continue reading

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed edited by Meghan Daum
ARCs and Galleys / Nonfiction (Misc) / Review Requests

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed edited by Meghan Daum

I always appreciate hearing the views of other people who’ve decided not to have children. This is a collection of sixteen essays by writers about that choice, including one from Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin. What’s nice about this book is the variety of views and experiences. The authors are … Continue reading

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland
ARCs and Galleys / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author / Review Requests

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland

I love a good historical novel, but I don’t read a lot of historical romances because I really want history first, romance second. I want a good story and well-developed characters, not just a bodice-ripper. And that’s what I got with Thorland’s novel, which is one of a loosely connected series about the Revolutionary War. … Continue reading

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Award winners / Contemporary Fiction / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, and the basis for a recent miniseries starring Frances McDormand. It’s a book that falls somewhere between a novel and short stories, a trend I’m seeing a lot of lately. The stories take place in the small town of Crosby, Maine, and Olive is the … Continue reading