The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan
Challenges / Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / First Novels / Historical Fiction / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan

Part of my Reading All Around the World Challenge, this is a book written by a chef in the U.S. who was born in Iran.  Café Leila tells the story of an Iranian family that experiences terrifying changes in the country after the revolution and establishment of the Islamic Republic in the early 1980’s. The … Continue reading

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
Contemporary Fiction / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

This is a book I ended up feeling torn about.  The writing is beautiful and I was deeply engaged in the story.  If you like a good anti-hero story, this is one you should read. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is structured around the stories behind Hawley’s twelve bullet wounds.  We begin the story … Continue reading

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting by Justine Prado and Jenn St-Onge
Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / New to Me Author / Review Requests and ARCs / Uncategorized

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting by Justine Prado and Jenn St-Onge

I’ve looked at graphic novels before, but never really sat down and read one.  I figured it’s a very different way of reading. Your eyes have to jump around all over the place, and it’s hard to know what order to read things in.  I suppose I like the calm repetition of reading lines across the … Continue reading

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Award winners / Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / New to Me Author / Recent Release

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

This is a beautifully written book.  Woodson is known for writing award-winning children’s books; this is her first adult novel in twenty years and was a finalist for the National Book Award.  In it she tells the story of August, who returns to Brooklyn for her father’s funeral and runs into an old friend.  This … Continue reading

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / First Novels / New to Me Author / Recent Release

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

I’ve seen mixed reviews of this book, but I really liked it.  Chang gives us a screwed-up family on a road trip, but she makes their story sympathetic, clever and at times funny.  I’ve seen this book described as hilarious, and I can’t say it reached that level for me, but then I’m not Chinese so … Continue reading

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / New to Me Author / Recent Release

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The Nest is a story of four adult siblings in a dysfunctional family.  They will come into a large inheritance (“the Nest”) when the youngest turns 40, which is in a few months.  The problem is the oldest sibling, Leo, got into a car accident and the money for medical expenses, rehab, and liability came out … Continue reading

Books I read on vacation: mini-reviews
Children and YA / Contemporary Fiction / Historical Fiction / Part of a Series / Science Fiction

Books I read on vacation: mini-reviews

I don’t normally write catch-up reviews, for two reasons.  First, I read these books in the middle of July so I don’t remember them so well, and I wasn’t exactly taking notes.  And second, I’m not a big fan of the mini-review.  You know I like to go on and on about a book.  But … Continue reading

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
Award winners / Contemporary Fiction / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

I had heard so many good things about this book (it won the 2016 Bailey’s Prize) that I was nervous it might not live up to expectations.  It absolutely did. I was immediately drawn into the story of Ryan, a fifteen-year-old boy with an abusive, alcoholic father who is experiencing love (and as he tells … Continue reading