Mary likes fiction. Mary will never have time in her life to read all the fiction she would like to read.
Cline's commentary about class and social status is told through the eyes of a 22-year-old fictional character who finds herself in the world of the wealthy. I found Alex to be an honest narrator despite her behaving dishonestly throughout most of this book. Her inability to accept defeat despite her many downfalls, makes for an interesting read.
Zevin combines culture, arts, & literature in the world of game design to tell an outstanding story of friendship that was clever & powerful with many wow moments.
Bodie Kane has returned to her New Hampshire boarding school campus to teach a podcast class 20+ years after her graduation. In a compulsively readable story, she poses questions pertaining to the murder of her classmate & former roommate. Her flashbacks, speculations, and current timeline are all equally engaging.
This book with resonate with you if you belong to a large family, or if you ever wished you were surrounded by siblings. If Little Women is one of your favorite books, there is a very good chance you will enjoy this story of the very connected Padavano sisters. Truly Beautiful.
If you enjoyed Wilson's Family Fang, you'll be happy to know that this book returns to the same type of themes. In 1996, 2 quiet teens start hanging out & anonymously hanging their handmade poster around town. It soon takes on a life of its own exploding into a public art project that sparks a pop culture movement that reverberates for many years.
Strout's introspective character Lucy Barton is back! I found it so comforting to read about Lucy's reflections on the first year of the pandemic as she departs Manhattan for a house on the coast of Maine where she will live with her ex-husband William.
This novel, a continuation of My Name Is Lucy Barton, is about where we come from and how we leave it behind. And, it's about how some relationships stay with us always. Simply beautiful!
This is a cautionary tale set in the very near future about censorship, exclusion, & fractured families. But it is also a redemptive story about the power of protest & the love of language. Reads like a classic!
Can you win the Pulitzer twice? In this perfect companion novel to A Visit from the Goon Squad, Egan is certainly worthy! She's done it again with a clever & compelling character-driven commentary of our world. I loved this book!
Rarely do I love a book so much that I read it twice. This is that book! Egan's book about multiple characters and their connections to the music industry is worthy of all the praise. Ideal to read in concert with her recently released The Candy House.;
This is a gorgeous father/daughter story about choices we make and what we would change if we could travel back in time. Straub highlights relationships & fate (two of my favorite topics) in this readable & enjoyable novel.
Fellow bookseller Straub, of Books Are Magic, works her own magic writing a pitch-perfect family novel. Her characters are engaging in all their ways and interactions.
Hoffs (the lead singer from the Bangles) has written a fun, music infused love story reminiscent of Bridget Jones's Diary. Jane Start is a likeable, spontaneous lead character staying in England working on getting both her music and her personal life back on track. The story provided the type of escapism we all crave at certain times.
The beloved Arthur Less from Andrew Sean Greer’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Less is back! He will charm you in his enduring humorous ways as he travels cross country to author-related events in the U.S. To quote Less quoting Meriwether Lewis, “I should be extremely happy in your company.” It is a delightful journey of laugh-out loud moments sprinkled between witty observations. Totally worth the ride.
I quoted this book nonstop! It made me laugh and was so well-written. I wanted more!
While first and foremost this is a story about family, it is about so much more: art, Brooklyn, New York history, education, beliefs, grief, and growth. Outstanding!
The story of a story that will keep you guessing. Enjoy Seattle's "cameo" appearance in this novel novel that explores the world of writing & writers.
In the '60's four young siblings visit a psychic who tells each of them the day they will die. Would you live your life differently if you knew the date of your death? Would you want to know? Free will or fate? These and other questions are surrounded by beautiful writing that keeps you turning the pages to find the answers.
This book might break your heart as it beautifully tells a story of AIDS in the 1980's in Chicago but it will also make you reflective on close relationships and what it means to be a family. Throw in art and Paris to balance it all out.
I make it a point to read everything Janelle Brown writes. This fast-paced story of twin sisters and their connections was filled with plot twists. It is told in two parts from each sisters P.O.V.
This well-written suspense novel uses multiple narrators to keep the story of deceit in the Lake Tahoe setting moving at a page-turning quick pace. Just the distraction I needed!
The fog in this San Francisco area based story draws a perfect parallel to the question of how well we know the other members of our family. Brown draws you in as you slowly discover the truth regarding the disappearance of the wife/mom in her creative fictional tale.
This is a sequel to the Family Upstairs that is just as satisfying. The setting is London, Nice, & Chicago and centers on the investigation of two murders with all the characters from the original story.
The settings of this story - taking place in Nice and London - will provide as much escape as the many surprises within the fast-paced plot.
Graham and Annie are that fun couple everyone enjoys who host dinner parties in their charming home. He is the owner of a bookstore in Cambridge and she is a photographer. Watch Annie find her way back after loss.
I had Stockholm Syndrome upon reading this book. Being held hostage with these characters was the perfect escape. Laugh, cry, laugh, cry...
Jenny is an enduring character. As she navigates what it means to be a grown-up she juggles relationships, a job as a writer, and her online image. A mix of Bridget Jones & Fleabag.
Casey has had a few setbacks including the devastating recent loss of her mother. Her writing life, while living in a tiny rental in Cambridge MA, while also supporting herself as a waitress, is compromised, but you will cheer her on!
Taddeo has followed up her nonfiction Three Women with one very complex woman in this powerful novel that is compulsively readable but intense with a LA setting that adds to the feeling of heat & oppression. Many sentences are made for sharing ~ so much truth in so few words.
This book combines the love of language, origins of words, the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, history, and women's place in it for a story to savor.
Spend a year with this charming character, Nina Dean, as she navigates her 32nd year with humor and perseverance. I enjoyed this book so much!
This is about awareness and one woman's story of fleeing a portion of her life that isn't fulfilling her quest to embrace the ideals that she is passionate about in her 53-year-old coming-of-age story. It's about mothers & daughters and waking up.
Told in alternating voices by the members of a close Irish family, this is a story of love, loyalties, & secrets. Set in New York and the family-run tavern.
What I liked about this book:
- The mystery writers' world in which it takes place.
- The English seaside & Scotland settings.
- The clever plotting & characters.
- The literary humor.
Ash Davidson has written an authentic story of the Northwest. When a community in the Redwoods struggles in the '70s to make a living as loggers while being challenged by conservationists, they will confront the local water pollution's effects on their families. A profound story that will stay with you long after the last page.
As always, I so enjoyed spending hours immersed in Rooney's beautiful world of richly described rooms, detailed gestures, and intimate conversations.
This is an enticing story told from multiple perspectives back and forth when a stranger comes to town & a year later when someone goes missing in a large tennis-playing family.
Contained within this small jewel of a book are the daily journal entries written over the course of a summer in NYC. Isa & her friend Gala, both 21, are living close to the edge while they navigate their way both as friends & individuals. The chapter describing Isa's grief over losing her mother stays with me.
Strout's talent has always been her ability to convey multitudes in a simple paragraph. Lucy Barton starts here & continues in "Oh William!"
I loved this introduction (or re-introduction) to the early 1970's which places the reader in the middle of all the changes the decade brought. Franzen's novel (the first in a trilogy) also introduces a family of a minister while they each explore their faith and personal beliefs.
Bookseller Tookie is a character you will root for while you spend a year (November 2019 - November 2020) with her and her bookseller friends & family. A special bonus: the author uses her own independent bookshop in Minneapolis as the setting which provides an authentic feeling.
Brutally honest auto-fiction. Many WOW moments. Powerfully poetic!
Violeta is a powerful woman whose strength seems to mirror Allende's. In her trademark narrative in the form of a letter to a loved one, Allende covers 100 years of history (1920-2020). I learned so much!
Relationships are the heart of this collection of short stories. Lily King's honest voice makes you feel you know these characters immediately. She does it with such finesse. I will read anything she writes!
This little book (weighing just under 1 lb.) blew me away. Joan's observations as an ICU doctor & introvert are honest & humorous. Joan is more than okay!
There are so many jewels within this book that I want to place it gently in the hands of every bibliophile I meet. Do you love books? Claire-Louise Bennett so obviously does and this is her gift to the reader.
This is a story that focuses on identity. Evelyn is a character who spends her time immersed in the philosophy of what we define as happiness. Evelyn is so enduring & honest, I enjoyed looking at the world from her point of view.
This book is for anyone who enjoys long walks, nature, human interactions, & reflections. Shattuck's personal journey & illustrations read like a current day Thoreau.
This book takes place about 10 years in the future. Glass examines changes in our world and the small community of Vigil Harbor on the Coast of Massachusetts & NYC. Filled with art, architecture, education, language, environmentalism, activism, & folklore.
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I felt like I was at Ida's family cabin for a summer weekend while reading about memories, relationships between sisters, mothers & daughters, and aging. Translated from Norwegian, this little book covers universal themes.
The nineties were such an interesting time of change ~ technology, music (Nirvana), pop culture, & politics. Kosterman shows us how these changes altered our way of connecting in an entertaining look at the last decade of the 20th century.
Quality vs quantity in a book that ponders a multitude of topics in a precise manner. Offill is a writer we are fortunate to experience. 200 pages, 6 short chapters = ideal for one weekend read.
Reading this made me want to grab a camera and a journal and go on a journey. Patti Smith pays attention to the little and big things.
Alternating in time 150 years apart, the main characters inhabit a once utopian village in New Jersey. Kingsolver employs her usual stellar science expertise in this tale of academia and friendship.
This book is about humanity - how we live, how we die, and most importantly when we suffer, how we survive.
Bit is born to idealist parents as they become founding members of a commune in the 70's. His observations throughout his life are gorgeous.
I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the long lives of forever friends Agnes & Polly. This story magnifies the beauty of their neighboring homes on the coast of Maine. These 80-year-olds have weathered it all. The strong characters are feminists & environmentalists who sought to hold on to what & who mattered to each of them.
Brilliant, but definitely coming from a place of darkness. It is almost a sin that a novel so rich in language containing clever conversations & observations sat unpublished for years. Katherine Dunn captured Portland and all the idiosyncrasies of its occupants perfectly. Her characters will stay with me for a long time.
Wow! Spending a few hours reading this book is time well spent. Love, in all its forms, is described with such emotional depth and humor.
This story is set in a village on the outskirts of London during the fourth quarter of 2019 in a large chain bookstore, Spines. Told in alternating chapters from the viewpoint of two very different booksellers whose only connection has to do with a local serial killer. I enjoyed the pace of the plot which matched the pace of the shop as it prepares for the holiday season. The staff felt so realistic to me.