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

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

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

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

I expected lots of melodrama and tear-jerkery from this story about a woman who loses her entire family overnight in a house fire — the night before a wedding, no less.  But that’s not what I got.  Instead, this is a really rich story about two families (three really, but one is much more peripheral).  … Continue reading

Thanksgiving by Mary R. Arno
Contemporary Fiction / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

Thanksgiving by Mary R. Arno

Thanksgiving is a short but compelling read about the lives of three women growing up in the New Orleans area. Ultimately I wish Mary Arno had focused on fewer characters in more detail. For example, the character of Peg feels under-written to me, and I wanted to know her better. I was really engaged in … Continue reading