Blog

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

Posted by on 8:00 am in Lindsey's Recs, Literary Fiction | 0 comments

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

Saints for All Occasions Saints for All Occasions is a beautiful book about family, love, and home.  It is about where we came from shapes who we are, no matter how far we go and what happens to us.  We meet Nora, who is the book’s beating heart and maternal figure, on the first page, set in 2009. Quickly the book spools back in time, to Nora’s girlhood in Ireland.  We learn of her arduous trip to the United States with her younger sister Theresa, of her marriage to Charlie, a boy from her home town, of the family of four children they raise...

read more

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Posted by on 8:00 am in Jessica F's Recs, Memoir | 1 comment

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

The Rules Do Not Apply “Do you ever talk to yourself?” Ariel Levy asks on page one of her mesmerizing new memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply. “I do it all the time,” she continues.  “We do it, I should say, because that’s how it sounds in my head. We’re going to turn right on Vicolo del Leopardo, go past the bar with the mosaic tiles, and then we know where we are. My competent self is doing the talking; my bewildered self is being addressed. We’re going to go over to the phone now and call for help with one hand and hold the baby with the...

read more

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee

Posted by on 8:00 am in Guest Recs, Literary Fiction | 0 comments

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee A Thousand Pardons begins with the story of a family’s destruction. The Armsteads are an affluent suburban family living outside Manhattan. Ben is a partner in a law firm and Helen manages the home and their adopted Chinese daughter, Sara. The novel begins with the couple setting off for their ‘date night’, rather a meeting with a marriage counsellor where, in the midst of his mid-life crisis, Ben utters the comment which starts the beginning of the end of his marriage, ‘It’s like a f—ing death...

read more

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

Posted by on 8:00 am in Julia's Recs, Literary Fiction | 2 comments

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

This Must Be the Place This book made me cry—ugly cry—and the truth is I rarely cry when I read a novel. In fact, I can remember only one other book in the past five years that’s made me cry this hard. Paradoxically, what first drew me into This Must Be the Place was its humor—it has plenty—particularly, the self-deprecating way Daniel Sullivan, one of the main characters, describes his often-reclusive life with Claudette Wells. Daniel (a linguist with a complicated past) and Claudette (an actress who has purposefully disappeared from the...

read more

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Posted by on 8:00 am in Jennifer's Recs, Memoir | 2 comments

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance I might know a thing or two about being a hillbilly. Much of my growing up was in the Ozarks of Arkansas catching crawdads and eating black-eyed peas at school lunch, and my parents live in the mountains of rural Tennessee. So, when I had dinner recently with a longtime friend in New York City, and one of the first things she said was, “I read this great book not long ago and I think you would love it,” I knew I had to read Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. The book, subtitled “A Memoir of a Family and Culture...

read more

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

Posted by on 8:00 am in Book Club Fiction, Pamela's Recs | 5 comments

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

The Hopefuls Lately, I’ve been thinking about whether or not we can ever be truly objective when reviewing a book. Of course, we can recognize excellent writing, a devastating plot, or how complex the characters are. But when it comes to really loving a book, I find that it’s always because the book rings true about something I wasn’t sure we were allowed to talk about. That’s what I loved so much about Jennifer Close’s new book, The Hopefuls, a wonderful slice of life novel about being newly married and living in a city that wasn’t your...

read more

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Posted by on 8:00 am in Book Recommendations, Jess's Recs, Literary Fiction | 7 comments

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry This is the story of an “almost eight-year-old” girl named Elsa and her best friend: her grandmother. Elsa and her grandmother share the bond of being different, and her grandmother creates a wonderful fantasy world for Elsa to escape to when needed. When Elsa’s grandmother dies, Elsa is left with her grandmother’s stories, both real and imaginary. Through a series of letters that Elsa’s grandmother left behind and asked Elsa to deliver, we discover the growing connection between the real world...

read more

Life, Incorporated by Halley Bock

Posted by on 8:00 am in Hallie's Recs, Non-Fiction | 2 comments

Life, Incorporated by Halley Bock

Life, Incorporated “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu My book recommendation is a little different than what you normally see here but I think everyone can gain some valuable insight from what author Halley Bock has to say in her recently published book, Life, Incorporated. Halley (pronounced like my own name, rhymes with Sally) had been a high-level executive for the majority of her career. She led an emerging media company that went through an IPO, then led a leadership development and...

read more

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Posted by on 8:00 am in Katie's Recs, Literary Fiction | 3 comments

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World Immortalized in Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World, in which she crawls across a field toward her family’s Maine farmhouse, Christina Olson lived a quiet, private life. She was hampered and eventually crippled by a degenerative muscular disease, but insisted on living independently (with the help of her brother, Alvaro) for as long as she could. Christina Baker Kline delves into Christina’s story – her razor-sharp mind, her stubborn family, her fierce pride, the degenerative disease that eventually stole her...

read more

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Posted by on 8:00 am in Literary Fiction, Stacey's Recs | 2 comments

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel I read Laurie Frankel’s This Is How it Always Is without knowing anything about the story. I absolutely love it when this happens. Somehow books are always better in my mind when I have no expectations. I would love for readers to approach this story in the same way so I am going to do my best to review this book without giving away too much. This Is How it Always Is is a family story. A love story. A story of secrets. And a fairy tale. As the story opens we fall immediately in love with Penn and...

read more