Uniquely haunting, this debut novel weaves together a strong dose of folklore with modern themes and fresh twists. It defies characterization along the typical literary fault lines, and will have you spellbound by both its story and its prose. Absolutely captivating.
Sometimes, you read a book that is so astounding it pulls you in with the first sentence and doesn’t let you go until the last. This is that book. A heart-wrenching account of migrants, mother and son, sisters, brothers and complete strangers, together attempting to cross the Mexican border with the hopes of living a life of safety in the U.S. The author began her novel in 2013, it is even more timely now. A powerful must read.
From 1791 Haiti to 1857 Louisiana to current day, three strong and resilient women with special "gifts" fight their way to freedom and acceptance. This debut novel is raw and yet tender...a mystical adventure of slavery, the Underground Railroad, survival, suspense and mostly hope!
An opioid addiction has managed to crumble the bond between two sisters, but when Mickey’s sister Kacey goes missing and women start showing up dead in Kacey’s neighborhood, Mickey digs deep into their past to access the courage she needs to find her sister. In turns heart-pounding, heart-breaking, and heart-warming, this one will stay with you long after the last page.
Two million US children live in extreme poverty – defined as a household earning less than $2.00 per person per day. Real, riveting, heart-breaking, and more, Tightrope is for readers of Hillbilly Elegy, Educated, and Evicted.
This well-rounded exploration of poverty in the United States, authored by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is a must read. Kristof provides detailed accounts of his childhood neighbors and acquaintances from rural Oregon, and how, through both personal decisions and systematic challenges, many walk the tightrope between poverty and middle class.
One-quarter of the children on Kristof’s old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents, and YET, Kristof is Pulitzer-Prize winning, New York Times columnist and reporter. From personal to policy, these stories give voice to the ever-shrinking blue collar, middle class in the United States.
Forget that this happens in a future space, as this book is more about the relationships we form, the bonds we hold most dear, and going to the end of the Universe to fulfill our promises to those we love. Expertly crafted, for fans of N. K. Jemisin, this is a story that will stay with you long past the last page.
A Beginning at the End is a unique post-apocalyptic book. It's not about the world falling apart, it's a heartwarming story about the part where we rebuild. Centered around a father trying to keep his daughter and a pop star trying to keep away from hers, A Beginning at the End is about family and hope, and getting through the impossibly rough times to come out safe and (relatively) happy on the other end. Beautifully written with an ending that made me smile.
For fans of strong women, circa WWII, this story of three young British women preparing for war is an engaging read. One of the three long-time friends was born in Germany and is threatened with internment in the UK once war is declared. Through friendship, courage and caring they work together to save her.
Grace under fire is the only way to describe Reid’s everyday heroine – a twenty-something woman who will take on whatever comes her way in order to make her own way in today’s world of race conflict and internet infamy. A heavy subject written with a light hand, this is a book for anyone, and everyone should read it and take notes.
This book is perfect for anyone in the mood to engage in some wordplay. With a variety of puzzle styles, sized down to make for quick but engaging solving, Puzzlesnacks is ideal for new puzzle enthusiasts and seasoned solvers alike. I couldn't put it down!
This story of two devoted sisters, one purposely getting committed to search for the other, and the strong young woman they meet to help them escape, will engage and haunt you. The Girls with No Names is based on the true horrors of the New York House of Mercy for "wayward girls" that forced abused young women into labor circa 1915.
With meticulous attention to detail, Andrew Grant Jackson covers not just the music, and there’s a lot of it, but also the significant historical and cultural events of 1973, the year that brought us glam, reggae, funk, disco and punk rock, to name just a few of the genres covered in his book. A fascinating read for music lovers of all ages.
Charles Soule has done it again. What if you could transfer your consciousness into someone else’s body? What if this was a regular part of life? Science-fiction, with a mystery tied in, I thought I had it figured out at least twice before I got to the twist - and literally exclaimed out-loud. I couldn't put this book down, a great page turner.
This was the first work of Deborah Levy's that I've read, and it impressed me thoroughly. The setting, in late 1980s London and East Germany, sets the stage for a story told with a uniquely ethereal use of time, and characters who make you yearn to delve more deeply into their lives. Levy pushes you to consider the effects of perspective, of relationships, of chance- and she does it all masterfully.
This novel is an ode to all your favorite romantic comedies. The story is laugh-out-loud funny, filled with lively characters you'll be rooting for (or booing) from the beginning. Evie embarrasses herself all over London performing meet-cutes in order to convince an arrogant screenwriter that people can meet like they do in the movies. It very well might cost her her job and ruin her life, or it might be just the thing she needed to get her life back on track.
I will be giving this book to everyone on my shopping list! A beautiful and simple book with a strong and powerful message, you can open to any page at any time and find encouragement. Fabulous pictures too! I just love this book!
Want to read an engaging story without heavy lifting? Try this novel by beloved author Jojo Moyes - based on the WPA depression era program of packhorse librarians who brought books to hill country people in Kentucky. Packed with broken hearts, forbidden love, female comradery, and formidable characters, The Giver of Stars is a great read!
Are you watching The Imagineering Story on Disney+? Want to dig even deeper into the building of Disneyland itself? This book is for you! I found it completely fascinating to get a glimpse at how Walt Disney worked and dreamed through the eyes of his employees. You will also get to know these men and women as they did something that no one had ever done before. From the easy to the near impossible, I loved learning about how Disneyland came to be and see how things put into place at that time shaped the world as we know it.
Would it make you feel better or worse if you knew your therapist was seeing a therapist? Are you curious what your therapist is thinking while you bare your soul? And are you curious if your fears, needs and sadness are unique? Lori Gottlieb answers these questions and much more. This book continues to linger in my mind and will motivate you to look at yourself through a different lens. With wit and wisdom we get a lively portrait of what it means to be human. I adored this book and loved interviewing Lori for my podcast.
A modern, wonderfully layered fairy tale we've waited years for, beautifully told by the author of The Night Circus, a book I wish I could live inside of. The Starless Sea is a gorgeously written love story to books and storytelling. Hints of The Neverending Story, Alice in Wonderland, and numerous other comforting classics blend seamlessly with a unique series of stories that blend into one, unlike anything I've ever read before. I know that when I read this book again I will notice more details that I missed the first time around, and I can't wait to explore it again. Thank you, Erin Morgenstern. It is beautiful. And perfect.
Orphaned as an infant and now 25 years old, Libby Jones has just inherited an abandoned mansion in the posh London neighborhood of Chelsea from the family she never knew. But others have been patiently waiting for this day and are ready to step out of the shadows. Told in present time and flashbacks, contrasting Libby’s bright present with her family’s dark and sinister past, this is both a gothic novel and suspense-filled thriller that I read in one day!
Aaslo is a complex young man in mourning over his best friend's death - who decides to take on said best friend’s mantle of “chosen one.” He's delightfully grumpy, yet optimistic, holding on to hope because it's all he has left. The story takes its time, building the group of people who will fight together throughout the series, but it is anything but a boring opening. Fate of the Fallen has its own story to tell, even as it builds the larger series plot. Beautifully done, can't wait to read the next in the series!
I can’t imagine a pleasanter read then this mystery. Arlen has a wonderful way with words and brings alive the day to day life of a small village in England (I am so ready to move to Little Buffenden!) and its unique inhabitants, each brimming with character. Especially Poppy, who is intelligent but down to earth; passionate but sensible. And I adore her stalwart dog, Bessie. However, there is still plenty of tension with not only the war, but two murders. I was sad to leave this book when it was done and have yet to pick up another!
Initiated has a mood strong and wild. Like a dream so powerful that you just can’t shake. Like a tea made with ancient herbs that we used to pick and carry in our medicine bags; instead steeping in my clay coffee mug, infusing the room as I read on. If you are curious about witchcraft, if you are a woman feeling her intuition rise, if you yearn for magic to unfold as you day dream into the burning horizon or not...this book is relevant in so many ways. Garcia weaves together the past, present and future of witchcraft, like a spider her web- for all to peer into with curiosity.
This is a current Russian spy story, with all of the clever twists, sense of humor, and building suspense you would expect of Le Carre! Nat is a 47-year-old British Intelligence officer about to retire - or is he? There might be one more assignment London has left for him. Particularly timely as I just finished reading Red Notice.
Looking for something light-hearted, lyrical, whimsical and cultural? It’s all wrapped up in this beautiful book! The story unfolds behind the scenes at the MET museum in NYC – a magical environment where the artwork animates and, occasionally, intermingles with the museum staffers. I thoroughly enjoyed the imaginative quality of this creative treasure! (Perfect holiday gift or a relaxing travel read!)
Janis Joplin's heroin overdose at age 27 has come to define her for many. But between January 19, 1943 and October 4, 1970, Janis lived a life full of bittersweet relations with friends and family, a tragic decision-making ability and, most of all, a soul born to sing the blues. With access to personal letters, confidants, and band members, George-Warren leads us through Janis' bumpy life. This is her overdue and penultimate biography.
As in some of my favorite works of fiction, the characters in this novel are messy while the writing is impeccable. A master of relatably imperfect subjects, Jami Attenberg has produced a stunning family drama, with the thoughts, feelings, and circumstances of all involved members examined from every angle. You'll be hard pressed to find a more impressive and prolific chronicler of the shadows of family dynamics writing today.
From Snow White to Frozen, Nathalia Holt takes a look at the history of Walt Disney Animation through the eyes of the women who have worked there. Showing how the company has grown with regards to both technology and female employees, I thought this book was fascinating. I love how the author took the time to explain how each new piece of technology worked while also staying true to the mission of the book. It was incredibly interesting to see how women influenced beloved films, even if their names never made it into the credits. I also loved reading more about Mary Blair, a Disney icon who I didn't know much about past her work on It's a Small World. Perfect reading for Disney fans.
I was first drawn to this book for its catchy title and as I read I was reminded of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It is entertaining and informative and would be a great gift for anyone joining a Jewish family or just looking for deeper knowledge of the religion.
— Laura B.
Tate gets what many of us don’t: a second chance at her first love, a chance for things to go right. People have been telling me to read Christina Lauren’s book for years – don’t be me, pick it up now. Her characters grab you from the first page and propel you through a smart and funny romance, even if it took fourteen years and the acting role of Tate’s career to make it happen.
The Crusades lasted from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, but the effects of this monumental clash of cultures and religions are still felt today. As with his other books, Dan Jones has taken this very complex history and presented it to us in a well organized, logical and (above all) entertaining way. Dive in and come away with broad understanding of the forces and motives from all sides, underlying so many centuries of hatred and bloodshed. One of Jones’s best!
In 1930's England, as elsewhere, war has changed the role of women - even as society resists acknowledging either the necessity or the desire for change. Violet, a 30-something "surplus" woman, joins a society of broderers, and learns to make something serviceable, and even beautiful, from separate threads, in embroidery and life.
An engaging memoir of an orphaned blue jay, and the wildlife artist and writer who rehabilitates it. Photos, drawings, facts, and anecdotes combine to offer a multi-faceted story that will appeal to veteran birdlovers and backyard novices alike.
If The Westing Game is on your stack of favorites, this book is for you! With the death of eccentric, and rich, Vincent Pryce (note the Y), a mysterious game is set in motion with a coveted prize – to become one of Vincent’s heirs. As a huge fan of character driven novels, I quickly fell in love with the entire quirky crew of players as they learned more about each other and scoured Boston for clues. Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is an emotionally powerful story of grief and self-discovery wrapped in humor and riddles, I couldn't stop reading until I got to the end.
Ninth House thrusts readers headfirst into a dark portrayal of Yale and New Haven, CT, filled with secrets, ghosts, and unspeakable evil. It's a mystery, a ghost story, and a journey of understanding for a young woman who has lived a life twisted and tormented by forces she couldn't hope to understand. The world within this novel is propulsive and intense. You won't want to put this one down.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first novel is eloquent and lyrical, with a touch of magical realism. It tells the story of Hiram, born in Virginia to a black mother, whom he barely remembers, and a white father, the owner of the plantation. It is also a story of the work of the Underground Railroad to free and try to reunite divided families, whose stories will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
One of the most anticipated books of the season, The Topeka School has so much going for it. Ambitious and thought-provoking, this novel is not only an impressive addition to the recent trend of autofiction, but a nuanced look at many of the social dynamics at play in present day America. Rooted in 1990s Kansas, you won't find a better novel about the dynamics of a specific family combined with the trajectory of our society.
I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but the photo of Obama and Biden, smiling, simply enjoying each other’s company, pulled me right in. A thoughtful look back at the unique partnership of two men with very different leadership styles who firmly stood together to create history during their eight years in the White House, while forming a strong, enduring friendship. If you are feeling nostalgic, you’ll love this book!
Cilka’s Journey, the much anticipated sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, tells the story of Cilka Klein after she leaves Auschwitz’s Birkenau concentration camp. When the camp is liberated at the end of the war, Cilka is found guilty of conspiring with the enemy and sent to a Siberian labor camp for 15 years where she is forced to live and work under deplorable conditions.
An inspirational and moving story of courage and resilience in the bleakest of circumstances.