Category: Recent Release

Review: The After Days by Amy Ginsburg

I received a copy of this book from the author, through a friend who lives in the DC area.  Ginsburg’s story of what happens in a Maryland suburb during a world-wide power outage was pretty fascinating, although the premise requires a bit of a leap:…

Review: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

I really enjoyed this debut novel that combines courtroom drama with a moving story about a Korean-American family.  Even better, the author is local and writes about a small town in Virginia that doesn’t exist but felt very real. The Yoo family runs a  a…

Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

July was a pretty heavy reading month, but this book was pure fun and I enjoyed every bit of it.  Moreno-Garcia’s novel is set in 1920’s Mexico, where Casiopea, a young woman in Yucatan, is struggling in her oppressive grandfather’s home.  It begins as…

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…

Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

I really liked this slow-burner of a novel about a program for the wealthy who want surrogate parents.  Ramos creates what I found to be a very believable scenario and raises a lot of really interesting issues regarding parenthood, wealth, immigration, race and class.  A…

Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

I loved the way this book begins, because I identified very much with Marianne, one of its two narrators.  Marianne and Connell are two teens in a small town in Ireland.  Marianne is smart, independent, and proud, but has no friends at school.  Connell…

Review: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

I had to force myself to finish this book, and that’s never a good thing. At times this book was nicely written and I found myself see-sawing between frustrated and absorbed. I knew from reviews that there were major changes in the plot and…

Review: Bellflower by Mary Vensel White

In 2012, author Mary Vensel White sent me her book The Qualities of Wood, a small town mystery about a compelling main character and a complicated marriage.  So I was happy when she sent me her latest book, Bellflower. It’s described as a “novel…

Review: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

I requested this book on NetGalley, mainly because it had an endorsement from the author of Station Eleven, and because the premise of a virus that causes people to fall into an indefinite sleep sounded interesting.  I was a bit disappointed.  I liked many…

Mini-Reviews: Lethal White, In the Distance, I Am I Am I am, We Were the Lucky Ones

I didn’t have a chance to review any of the books I read in December because I was traveling, so I’m posting some mini-reviews of the more interesting books I read during my trip: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith: I will only say here…

Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

By now you’ve heard raves about Michelle Obama’s memoir, and I can echo those.  Her book was exactly what I was hoping for: well-written and insightful, it’s not just her story but Barack Obama’s as well.  And for those interested in recent history, it’s…

Review: All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy

I liked this book though it didn’t resonate emotionally as much as I expected it to.  It’s a story of man in India who is recalling when his mother abandoned him as a child.  Gayatri was a free-spirited artist who clearly felt constrained by…

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