Jeju Island is home to the legendary haenyeo - female divers who harvest the bounty of the sea and are the providers for their families. This multi-generational tale explores the fascinating diving culture, a touching friendship marred by conflict, and the tragedies that come from the occupations of the island. Lisa See gives us first rate storytelling as always!
What if, in 1967, four women from different scientific disciplines had invented time travel? The effects on themselves and society start small, then multiply, forever changing how people experience friendship, family, love, morality, life, death, and even murder. An intriguing and quick-paced read.
Never underestimate the power of a woman who wants to protect her sister, who runs from an arranged marriage, or who follows her heart. Woman 99 is a historical thriller that challenges the reader to know who is sane and who isn’t in Goldengrove Asylum.
Is it a ghost story laced with past and present mysteries, or a whodunnit with supernatural elements? Changing narrators, diaries, letters, and an embedded "literary classic" create a layered experience that will pull you in and keep you guessing until the very last page.
Infused with the ethereal magic of a classic fairy tale, Gingerbread skates the line between fantasy and reality with charming agility. Oyeyemi is a superbly talented storyteller, and she has crafted a darkly comic and modern work out of familiar and traditional influences, expanding a family saga into a playful and strange tale of identity. Like the gingerbread that the Lee women bake from a generations-old family recipe, this novel will fill you with everything you need from it, even if you have no idea quite what that is.
Poldi's lust for life and Commissario Montana takes her back to investigating two murders while the murderers are out to get her. A sexy romp through Sicily's vineyards!
This absolutely awesome book will inspire you to try making your own dumplings- among many other dishes- immediately! With thoughtful anecdotes and helpful tips for executing the recipes flawlessly, this is a great book for home cooks of any level of experience looking to introduce more Chinese flavor to their kitchen. I was especially delighted by the local twist the Boston-based authors included by using ingredients that are quintessentially New England for a unique fusion of cultures.
A neat and tidy mystery set in the south of France with a hugely likable main character, Penelope. Serena Kent’s writing style has a musical quality with just the right amount of description that placed me in the story. I felt the heat of the sun and smelled the ripening fruits, the bakery, the rose’—yum! I was well and truly there. And of course, Penelope’s humor helping her through the bumpy parts of life is something we can all relate to. All in all, so much fun to read!
A fascinating novel based on the untold story of the women who were recruited to be Hitler’s food tasters. Rosa Sauer and nine other women are forced to eat three meals a day in Hitler’s secret headquarters (known as The Wolf’s Lair, or Wolfsschanze) to ensure the food intended for him hasn’t been poisoned. A sisterhood forms among the women as they fight to prove their loyalty to Hitler and to survive their next meal — a meal that could kill them! Already an international bestseller, At The Wolf’s Table is Rosella Postorino’s first English-translated novel and I can’t wait for her next one!
Bowlaway may be one of the strangest books I've ever read. Very much in the mode of John Irving's The World According to Garp. I was, frankly, riveted.
Sophie Kinsella infuses her books with quirk and charm and has a special knack for making the problems of her characters seem surmountable with a combined effort of wit and heart — but don't worry, there's also just enough snark to keep things realistic. I Owe You One is no exception, and I was thrilled to meet a new batch of lovable but infuriating British characters whose relationships develop with Kinsella's trademark farcical humor and intelligence.
This is a book I will have on my bookshelf forever — to go back and infuse my spirit with, to lend out to my favorite people, to indulge my poetic cravings. It reminds me of the greatness of friendship, the bravery in facing our own mortality, and the infinite life of the creative spirit. Like Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, this book captures the magic of artist friendships that will undoubtedly inspire and enrich the reader's life.
I absolutely loved this phenomenal family saga! Don’t be fooled by the title (drawn from the “new feminist” sex blog anonymously authored by one of our characters) — this story explores love in every form it takes. As befits the poet who narrates, the language is luscious and the story full of heartache, mystery, failure, family, and betrayal. Fans of Commonwealth, The Immortalists, and Celeste Ng will LOVE this!
— Kathy W.
I couldn’t put this book down. The story begins with four siblings forced to come to grips with the early death of their father and their mother’s resulting depression. The author weaves an incredible tale of how this early trauma affected the trajectory of the rest of their lives. Set in Connecticut, you will be very familiar with many of the locations. There’s even a quick nod to Wesleyan University!
This book feels unique – in spare language and short chapters, Elsey struggles to balance intense feelings of motherhood with her career as an artist and obligations to her marriage while living as an ex-pat in China. She put me in her head as she fights addiction, craves a sense of belonging, and deals with unresolved grief honestly and painfully. Powerful!
— Kathy W.
If a novel can be scholarly, this one is! What happens when two ambitious, married academics who study communication can’t talk or hear each other anymore? Well…there’s silence, chaos, hilarity, heartbreak, and madness — sometimes all at once. Mix in a challenging parent and a bird on the loose, and you’ll be in the middle of scenes that unroll like a movie. I was mesmerized.
— Kathy W.
This would make an excellent rom-com! Will Nina, a political speechwriter and hotel heiress, finally admit she’s caught in a love triangle? And what about her father’s long held secret that threatens to ruin the empire he’s built? The author took me behind the scenes around wealthy NYC and into some steamy bedrooms! Fans of Jojo Moyes and Liane Moriarty should try this out!
— Kathy W.
So clever! Written as a collection of emails, blog posts, and online therapy sessions, this is a fast read that is funny yet tragic, entertaining yet bittersweet. Iris, only 33, has been given a diagnosis of terminal cancer. But what could have been a depressing end of life tale becomes instead a witty, refreshing lesson in working toward our unfulfilled hopes and dreams. The excerpts from Carl the intern are laugh out loud funny!
A deeply personal and well-researched book of essays, The Collected Schizophrenias deserves every ounce of praise it has received leading up to its publication. The author's experiences with the complexities and effects of her mental illness are detailed with a relatable frustration and vulnerable honesty. With a background in both science and the arts, the insights Wang shares are compelling on multiple levels, and she leaves the reader with new perspective and compassion for something commonly misunderstood.
Shocking in so many ways! This memoir is a painful and provocative look at trying to survive on minimum wage and fighting poverty while on public assistance. The author, a single mom, candidly talks about the invisibility of cleaning strangers’ houses and the loneliness and heartbreak of struggling to provide for her daughter. Her detailed stories reveal so much more than any article I’ve ever read on this topic.
— Kathy W.
In this intensely woven tale, Gaude’s use of language prompts the comparisons between events that are centuries apart. Just as I gained purchase at the macro level, Gaude would juxtapose a minute detail which, under scrutiny, slightly turned all that I was thinking. A complex contemplation that leaves both the characters and the reader with a provocative and absorbing question which immediately changed my perception of my life. Wonderful!
Set in the years prior to and during WWII, this fast and engaging read gives broad views of life on the home front, as well as deep insight into the all-out war between two sisters from Brooklyn who carry their childhood resentments into their adult lives. Much of the action is set in The Armory in Springfield, MA, which is now a museum.
Dorothea Lange’s photos depict humanity during the Depression’s Dustbowl and the incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII. Her striking career as a pioneering professional photographer also brought me a new focus on many of today’s social and political issues. As Lange’s career flourished, she faced challenges on marriage, child care, workers’ rights, and immigration. A terrific read for social and political historians, photographers, and South Western art aficionados
August Snow is back! Don’t miss this knockout sequel to Stephen Mack Jones' detective series. Action packed and filled with memorable characters, August Snow is a series I will look forward to like a new Jack Reacher or Lincoln Lawyer.
In Ben Winters’ imaginative new book, California is now known simply as the Golden State. Lying is forbidden is in the Golden State, and every event, action, and conversation is “captured” and put on permanent record. The story follows an elite police division whose detectives have an innate ability to identify anomalies in the system, and a covert group of dissenters who set out to overthrow the state using (gasp!) lies! Part thriller, part mystery, with a dead body thrown in for good measure and voila! I enjoyed every minute of this book.
A nail-biting thriller showcasing a mother’s unconditional love for a daughter two years estranged, and a feisty heroine who will do whatever it takes to survive and make her way home. Barry’s debut thriller is a rollercoaster ride of emotions that will leave you exhilarated and breathlessly waiting for her next book.
Do you want to escape into an amazing story that reads like science fiction and feels just a little too real? Kind of like dreaming? To watch the impact of a highly contagious illness that spreads freely and leaves its victims asleep…but unable to wake up? Full of ethical dilemmas, beautiful writing, and the full spectrum of human behavior. This book haunted me!
— Kathy W.
In this sure-to-be divisive reimagining of history, City of Women author David Gillham asks readers: What would Anne Frank’s life have been like if she’d survived the Holocaust? After much research from her diary, Gillham gives us an idea of how the Frank family struggled to live with trauma, fear, and grief. Although difficult to read at times, this is ultimately a story of hope, forgiveness, and love.
As my first exposure to Tessa Hadley's writing, Late in the Day engrossed me completely. Centering around four longtime friends, whose lives are enmeshed in ways revealed as the novel progresses, Hadley captures all the messiness and complexity of long-shared histories. Her fantastic writing gives life to each character as she compellingly reveals their past and present circumstances and weaves a story of choice, loss, and change that you won't be able to put down.
Lisa Jewell’s latest opens with a murder and then works back in time. Someone is always watching, lurking outside a house, taking photographs, peering from windows. No one is as they seem. Told from multiple perspectives, this thriller kept me guessing until the end. And then there’s that last sentence...
The basis for the new Netflix series, Kondo's version of tidying will leave your home easier to keep clean and filled with the things that bring you joy. Focus on one area or tackle your entire house at once, as she does on the show.
The graphic form is perfectly paired with the story of Frederick Douglass, using images to help convey the parts of his story that are unknown or difficult to tell. A powerful introduction to an important American voice, this book is also appropriate for YA readers.
This brilliantly written psychological thriller will grasp you so tightly you will find it impossible to put down. These two authors have done it for me once again. For those who loved The Wife Between Us, you will positively love this book. I enjoyed the countless plot twists thrown at me just when I thought I knew what was going to happen. This is the must-read novel of 2019!
Like “Fatal Attraction” in a twisted upside-down way. Jessica falsely enters a psychology study and the lies just spiral from there on. Is she being set up, or is she being used as bait to trap someone else? An intense tale of passion, murder, and twisted truths, you won’t be able to guess the end of this one!
Told in a reverse narrative, you know exactly how it ends on page one. Do not let that discourage you! This book left me chasing after the answer to one single question. Why? If you are seeking a gripping page turner, this is the one for you!
A captivating and brief novel, Ghost Wall uses every ounce of its literary power to full effect. Set in the north of England, the lines between the modern circumstances of our characters and the Iron Age Britons whose lives they seek to experience become increasingly, and fascinatingly, blurred. Building to a perilous climax for teenage Silvie, this novel's dynamics and writing will stay with you long after you've finished reading.
It’s not often I find a historical fiction novel that truly holds me in its pages, but there was something about The Latecomers that entirely mesmerized me. Taking place not just in Connecticut and New York, but also in the same county of Ireland my family migrated from, the connections I felt to this story and these characters ran deep. A magnificent piece of literature for the historical fiction and local history buff alike.
Whether you are living off the land, huddled in your bunker, or searching for big flavors that will surprise and satisfy, this strange, fascinating and ultimately compelling cookbook delivers!
What an incredible sequel to Year One! Packed with adventure and magic, Nora Roberts seamlessly stitches together characters of old and new, bringing them together in this new and sometimes dark world. This book and series is a great mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian thriller, making it a must-read for any fans of these genres.
For fans of The Night Circus.
Magically crafted, Diane Setterfield’s characters and towns are each separate, yet contribute to the whole, much like the river itself and its tributaries. It flows mysteriously and swift over the course of a year to a conclusion where all meet for a completely satisfying finish.
Family dysfunction, abuse, and the fear of change keep Frederick and Caroline stymied until they learn to rebuild the bridges of their pasts to move forward into the future. A moving novel that compassionately explains how people carry pain and then free themselves, often with help from unexpected people.