Category: Highly Recommended

Review: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

It seems fitting to discuss a book about therapy the day after Thanksgiving, a holiday that raises so many complicated family issues — though hopefully yours was lovely!  This book has plenty of buzz already without my review, but I loved it.  It’s unlike most books I’ve read, in that it’s an inside look at…

Review: The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

I read this book for the Read Harder 2019 Challenge.  I needed an #ownvoices book set in Oceania: the #ownvoices part means by an indigenous author, and Oceania is Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific islands. The Things She’s Seen is by brother and sister Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, from the Palyku people of…

Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

This was only my second read by Patchett, after the excellent Commonwealth, and I was struck again by Patchett’s thoughtful development of characters and understanding of family dynamics.  This is a story that covers decades in the lives of a single family in Pennsylvania, from about the 50s to today, told through the eyes of…

Review: Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Great news for Olive Kitteridge fans — author Elizabeth Strout has published a sequel and it is fantastic.  Olive, Again is written in Strout’s signature style of introducing new characters in each chapter so that the book feels like connected short stories rather than a novel. The sequel begins with Olive mourning the death of…

Review: Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

I absolutely loved this children’s book about a girl from a Cuban-Jewish family living in New York who is seriously injured in a car accident and ends up in a full body cast.  It’s a perfect book for children in about 3rd-4th grade who have ever felt left out – and what kid hasn’t? I…

Meeting Angie Kim, Author of Miracle Creek

Last week my book club had the opportunity to meet with Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek, a courtroom drama about a Korean-American family.  Kim was fantastic and spent a lot of time with our group.  She shared a lot of interesting details about how her life experiences influenced the book, and the kinds of things she…

Review: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

I recommend this historical novel about two researchers who discover a cache of letters from the 1660s about a rabbi in London and the young Jewish woman he’s taken in, Ester Velasquez.  The rabbi and Ester have emigrated from Amsterdam, but before that they were refugees from the Inquisition in Portugal.  The researchers soon discover…

Review: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

It’s hard to say this book was fun, since it involved more violently ill characters than any other book I can think of… but it’s a page turner and yes, a lot of fun too.   Time travel, the Middle Ages, plague, and Christmas – what more can you want in a book? Connie Willis received…

On The Come Up and The Poet X: a Double Review

These books share a lot of similarities and both were fantastic, so I’m reviewing them together.  Both are about teenagers dealing with racial identity, religion, friendship, and family.  Both are gifted poets struggling to express themselves.  Both love their families but find themselves hiding more and more of themselves. On the Come Up is Angie…