Neverhome - Laird Hunt
Neverhome by the sublimely talented Laird Hunt, is a powerful portrait of a heroic and complex woman who chooses to fight in the Civil War in her husband's stead. Deeply evocative, Neverhome is like holding a mirror to Cold Mountain. Written in spare poetic prose, this haunting novel leaves a lasting impression,and is not to be missed!
Astrid Sees All - Natalie Standiford
I thoroughly enjoyed this animated coming of age novel set in the 1980s club scene in the East Village. Standiford brings to life not only the captivating Phoebe Hayes, but also the grungy, gritty & exhilarating bygone days of 1980s NYC. Intoxicating nostalgia at its best.
Northern Spy - Natalie Standiford
This gripping espionage thriller is set in Northern Ireland, and features two sisters, Tessa and Marian, and their relationships with the IRA and MI5.
As the book builds to its climax, Flynn Berry illuminates a complex world in which there seem to be no good choices. Thought-provoking, engaging, and richly atmospheric, Flynn Berry has written another winner.
Broken (in the best possible way) - Jenny Lawson
With her trademark forthright, self-deprecating humor, Lawson treats the reader to an intimate look at the challenges she faces every day, as she shares her struggles, joys, fears, laughter & tears in this candid memoir. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, this is Lawson's most personal and heartfelt book.
What Could Be Saved - Liese O'Halloran Schwarz
In 2019 Laura Preston, an American artist in Washington D.C. learns that her brother Philip, who went missing as a child in Bangkok over 40 years earlier, may be alive. Thus begins Liese O'Halloran Schwarz's spectacular & spellbinding new novel. Part mystery, part social commentary, and part family drama, this gripping & suspenseful tale of love and loss, privilege and prejudice, unfolds in alternating timelines across 2 countries. The writing is beautiful, the characters well drawn, and the story is completely engrossing. A wonderful, unforgettable read!
Writers & Lovers - Lily King
A sublime novel of a young woman coping with loss & looking for love, as she struggles with life as a writer. Intimate, heartfelt and genuine, this book is a gem! I literally could not stop reading, and now can hardly wait to put it into other readers' hands. Another home run for Lily King!
My Dark Vanessa - Kate Elizabeth Russell
When she was fifteen years old Vanessa Wye has a relationship with her charismatic teacher, Jacob Strane, who was in his forties. Their involvement reverberates throughout Vanessa's life. As an adult events cause her to re-evaluate the affair, her memories, and the roles they each played. Desire, consent, abuse and manipulation all play a part in this powerful, unsettling and timely novel.
The Postscript Murders - Elly Griffiths
This fun, charming, bookish mystery (centering around mystery authors) is a delight. Light, sweet & funny, this mystery is perfect for readers of The Thurday Murder Club.
Moonflower Murders - Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz has done it again! With Moonflower Murders, he has crafted another superlative, page tuning, cunning, book-within-a-book mystery chock full of clues (& red herrings), featuring the appealing former editor Susan Ryeland from Magpie Murders. Terrifically engaging, smart & fun, it's practically impossible to put down. Don't miss it!
Invisible Girl - Lisa Jewell
Another immersive, spellbinding page-turner from the superlative bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs. Populated with intriguing characters, multiple perspectives and chock full of suspense, the pages seem to turn themselves!
We Begin at the End - Chris Whitaker
Rich in atmosphere, populated by multi-faceted, flawed, endearing characters and driven by a complex, thrilling plot, this stand out novel will keep you turning the pages long into the night.
White Ivy - Susie Yang
White Ivy is the coming of age story of Ivy Lin, an ambitious, complex young Chinese American woman. Susie Yang does a terrific job interweaving the societal pressures and expectations Ivy bears, as well as her feelings of both being suffocated and unmoored. She brings a complicated & conflicted character to vibrant life, while telling a riveting & spellbinding story that I loved reading. An eloquent & accomplished debut!
The Plot - Jean Hanff Korelitz
Unable to produce anything worth reading for years, failed author Jake Bonner is teaching a writing course at less than prestigious MFA program, when one of his more obnoxious students brags to him about how the plot of the novel he is working on is a sure-fire hit. Time passes and the book has not been published, so after making inquiries, Jake decides to write the book himself. It is an instant bestseller rocketing to the top of the NYT list, an Oprah pick, etc.: every author's dream-come-true... and then Jake's troubles begin.
This mesmerizing, enthralling, immersive page-turner is terrific fun & has the potential to be the sensation it describes, as well as being a good natured send up of the writing & publishing industry.
Read it! You won't be sorry!
The Last Thing He Told Me - Laura Dave
Propulsively engaging story about the developing relationship between Hannah and her stepdaughter Bailey in the wake of her husband Owen's disappearance. Partly an examination of the depth of love between parents and children and partly a page-turner of a mystery, this is one to read before it becomes a TV series!
Tangerine - Christine Mangan
Exhilarating & portentous, this bewitching novel focuses on the reunion between 2 women in Tangier in the 1950s, whose close & troubled relationship is colored by an incident from their past. This thrilling, propulsive & beautifully written novel will have you reading long into the night!
The Dry - Jane Harper
Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his childhood home for the funeral of his former best friend. There he finds that as Faulkner put it, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." This outstanding debut mystery set in Australia is riveting. I loved it.
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
This Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, follows the life of Theo Decker, from the time he is 13 years old. A novel ultimately about the human condition and how art informs life; beautifully and precisely crafted, it is itself a work of art. Don't miss it!
A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter
This bittersweet story of love lost and found, moves back and forth between present day Hollywood and a coastal town in Italy in 1962. The supremely talented Walter tells an intricate, moving tale of love, desire, deception, loneliness and ambition played out by a unique, yet familiar, cast of characters: the single-minded movie mogul, the narcissistic Hollywood actor, the innocent ingenue, the undiscovered writer, the struggling innkeeper, etc. Languid and passionate, humorous and heartbreaking, this old fashioned story is charming, engaging and extremely satisfying.
The Undoing Project - Michael Lewis
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
This is a super intense, heartbreaking, unforgettable novel about four young men (mostly in New York) and their relationships with each other as they age. This novel involves terrible trauma and abuse and is not for the faint of heart. However, it is an indelible work and the characters are so real and vibrant, I half-expect to see them coming around the corner on any given day.
Timmy Failure - Stephan Pastis
Fierce Kingdom - Gin Phillips
Lock In - John Scalzi
When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
This Boy's Life - Tobias Wolff
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
Tenth of December - George Saunders
A book of short stories that is reworked until each piece is a sparkling gem.
With stories ranging from realistic to fantastic, this collection is complex and creative. By turns hilarious, hopeful and heartbreaking Saunders brings his characters vibrantly to life with only a few expertly drawn strokes.
Being Mortal - Atul Gawande
All Our Wrong Todays - Elan Mastai
Sunburn - Laura Lippman
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Exit West - Mohsin Hamid
This gorgeous, heartbreaking, magical novel of migration is told with an intimate and economical use of language in which not a word is wasted. Hamid weaves a resonant, timely & enchanting tale.
Himself - Jess Kidd
Half a King - Joe Abercrombie
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - Ben Fountain
Faithful Place - Tana French
Faithful Place is the third book involving Dublin murder squad characters (preceded by In the Woods and The Likeness) by the masterful Tana French. This one features Detective Frank Mackey as he returns after 2 decades, to Faithful Place, the home of his youth. There he ends up investigating the disappearance of his childhood sweetheart, whose abandonment of him 22 years earlier has colored his whole adult life. Dark and spellbinding, forceful and gripping this carefully crafted, impeccably rendered thriller is one of Tana French's best.
The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
Not a word is wasted in this sensational Booker Prize-winning novel that tells the story of a complacent middle-aged man (Tony Webster) who is forced to reevaluate events from his past & as a result, his understanding of himself. As soon as you finish it you will want to go back to the beginning again as your understanding of people and events morph. Spare & melancholy & superbly crafted!
Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
I, Claudius - Robert Graves
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Freakonomics - Steven Levitt
The Dinner - Herman Koch
Koch skillfully skewers Dutch political and social mores while at the same time telling a story that is both laugh-out-loud funny and breathtakingly disturbing. The story takes place during a 5 course dinner, opening up like a set of Matryoshka dolls, each chapter filled with twists and surprises, leaving the reader stunned and unsettled. I feel a twinge of heartbreak (and disgust) whenever I think about it! (Will appeal to readers of Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap & Yazmina Reza's God of Carnage).
Euphoria - Lily King
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere by the masterful Celeste Ng is, if possible, more incisive, illuminating, smart, thought-provoking and timely than her exquisite debut, Everything I Never Told You. A skillfully nuanced glimpse into a suburban family, their reach and carelessness, and the debilitating & blinding effects of privilege. Socially and psychologically astute, with unforgettable characters, this one is not to be missed.
The Women in the Castle - Jessica Shattuck
This gorgeous novel of women at the end of WWII takes its place in the sweet spot between All the Light You Cannot See and The Nightingale. Beautifully, and lyrically written this compelling novel of 3 women, their stories, and their secrets, is unforgettable.
The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker
In this richly atmospheric tale, the earth slows on its axis, throwing the planet into disarray: the days and nights get longer, birds fall from the sky as gravity loses hold, and social unrest ensues. Our narrator for this apocalyptic turn of events is eleven-year old Julia. The dreamlike, radiant quality of the prose makes it easy to read this as a metaphor for the upheaval of Julia's life as she teeters on the cusp of adolescence and her world begins to spin unreliably on its axis as well. Her parents' marriage unravels, her beloved grandfather begins to exhibit strange compulsions and she finds it hard to fit in with her peers. Haunting and addictive, this is a remarkable and stunning debut.
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
In this spellbinding novel, Emily St John Mandel has created an unforgettable, terrifying and beautiful world. The bulk of the story takes place in the wake of a flu pandemic which has decimated the world's population, resulting in a bleak future for the few who survive. Moving back and forth in time from the death of a famous actor on stage, to the fate of a travelling musical troupe twenty years later, this frightening (and heartening) novel is terrifyingly good! At once brutal, magical & dreamlike it begs to be read, recommended and discussed!
Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
A hilarious send up of the absurdity of yuppy culture set in Seattle and centered on a family of 3, (mom is an architect, dad is a microsoft mogul & 15 year old Bee is a precocious misfit). Told in letters and diary entries this farcical literary page-turner will have you laughing out loud.