The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams
Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / Highly Recommended / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams

I was pretty much glued to this book while I was reading it.  It’s both suspenseful and thoughtful, and provides detailed information about a country that most Americans know little about.  Williams, a former aid worker in Uganda, tells the story from two perspectives.  Sabine is a German woman who has spent most of her adult life … Continue reading

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

I recommend this short but moving first novel by Rachel Khong about a woman caring for her father with Alzheimer’s.  This is a prospect I find absolutely terrifying, whether for my parents and for myself.  It seems to me that almost any physical ailment would be less scary than gradually losing one’s mind, knowing that … Continue reading

Science Fiction and Fantasy Mini-Reviews
Challenges / Fantasy / Fluffy Summer Travel Reads / Part of a Series / Science Fiction

Science Fiction and Fantasy Mini-Reviews

Here are three more science fiction and fantasy mini-reviews, brought to you by the 20 Books of Summer Challenge.  Since it’s pretty difficult to review books that are part of series, I’m keeping these short.  I recommend all three if you’re looking for good, but not too heavy, summer reads. Good Omens: The Nice and … Continue reading

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Award winners / Challenges / Diverse Reads / First Novels / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer is a first novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for literature.  It’s a fascinating look at the Vietnam War and its aftermath from the perspective of the Vietnamese.  Right away it makes you realize how much Americans only see the Vietnam War from our own perspective, not those … Continue reading

Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Recent Release

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The world feels very wrong right now. Between shootings, terrorism, and the horrible people that are governing our country with seemingly no ethics or empathy whatsoever. I’ve been trying to write a review of this book for a while, and it’s especially relevant right now with this week’s acquittal of Philando Castile. On top of … Continue reading

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Award winners / Challenges / Classic Literature / Diverse Reads / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named it the best play of 1959. I read this powerful work for the Classics Book a Month challenge.   It’s the story of the Younger family, an African-American family living in … Continue reading

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Challenges / Diverse Reads / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

I read this book for the Read Around the World challenge, where a specific country is selected for each month.  May’s selection was Colombia.  Vasquez is a noted author in Colombia, having won numerous awards, primarily for this novel and for The Informants.  He studied law in Bogotá, Colombia and studied literature in Paris at … Continue reading

The Long Drop by Denise Mina
Challenges / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

The Long Drop by Denise Mina

This was a really interesting novel about a real-life serial killer in Scotland in the 1950’s.  I say interesting because it wasn’t quite like anything else I’ve read.  It’s not a mystery or a thriller, or a true crime novel.  It’s a little closer to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, although I hesitate to compare … Continue reading

Reading the Bailey’s Longlist: The Lonely Hearts Hotel and The Gustav Sonata
Award winners / Challenges / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author / Recent Release

Reading the Bailey’s Longlist: The Lonely Hearts Hotel and The Gustav Sonata

Both of these books were on this year’s Bailey’s Prize for Women longlist, although neither made it to the shortlist (in addition to Hag-Seed). The winner of the Bailey’s Prize will be announced June 7. Though quite different, these two books had several things in common.  Both are historical fiction, both have a main character who … Continue reading

The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs / Uncategorized

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

This is a really thoughtful, moving novel about a Chinese family that is torn apart in the United States.  Peilan grows up in China in a small village but dreams of exploring the world, so she travels to New York for factory work at better wages.  She has Deming while still very young herself, and … Continue reading