Category: Recent Release

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 corporation creates a home for young women to bear the children…

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 is popular and outgoing, and like many teens he worries a…

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 I wanted to see what happened. Trust Exercise is about Sarah…

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 of the characters, including Ben, a new father, young Sara, and…

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 that I was disappointed with this entry in the series, which…

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 an important look at where our country is today. I appreciated…

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 her marriage and societal expectations.  She leaves her family for a…

Review: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

I loved this debut fantasy novel by Tasha Suri.  It’s well-written and creates a fascinating world with a terrifying villain.  It’s inspired by the Mughal Empire of India, something I knew absolutely nothing about before reading this book — which is why fiction by diverse writers is so important.  Suri brings cultural references and perspectives to…

Review: Those Who Knew by Idra Novey

Those Who Knew is a novel about a senator with a violent past in a small unnamed island country.  It’s about about the intersections of politics, money and influence.  I appreciated the writing style of this author and much of the book worked for me, although I didn’t care for the generic location.  In her…

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, edited by America Ferrera

American Like Me is a compilation of essays about what it means to live in America, from actors, athletes, writers, and activists who are either immigrants or the children of immigrants.  The general theme of the book is celebrating the multiculturalism of the United States while also celebrating the many opportunities this country offers. This…