Archive for January, 2020

Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson

January 26, 2020

Click here to check the catalog to see if this book is available right now. (click here for a longer review on NPR). Nothing to See Here can be found on eBook and Audiobook on Libby/Overdrive.

[Lesley] There is so much to see in this book though you have to look beyond the cover (which I found to be a huge turnoff…) and the description on GoodReads and the book: “a moving and uproarious novel.”

I would say that this is a darkly wry, affecting story about the ways we deny and rationalize our decisions and how we’ve gotten where we are. Thank goodness it is also about the raw and fierce connections that love can be made of.

All of this in an unusual story about Lillian and her friend/betrayer Madison who must accept her husband’s two children after their mother dies. Blended families can be challenging enough, but these twins spontaneously combust when agitated. Madison begs Lillian to be the children’s caretaker; from there the story takes unpredictable paths to reach an inevitable ending. Of course, it only seems inevitable in retrospect as the very best stories do.

The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

January 24, 2020

[Tricia] This book is a striking combination of deeply magical and and brutally realistic. It is set in my hometown of New Haven, CT and captures the feel of that city perfectly. It tells the story of Galaxy “Alex” Stern, who has been able to see and communicate with ghosts since she was a child (which is as traumatic as it sounds). Through a series of complicated circumstances, this ability lands her at Yale as a freshman with no academic background at all. The book is so many things at once: a murder mystery, a painful coming of age story, a critique of gender, class and racial bias in higher education, as well as an engrossing fantasy novel. Although Leigh Bardugo is mostly known as a young adult author, this is definitely a book for adults, offering a very dark, gritty view of magic. Be aware that this book is the first in a series and ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger. Fans of Lev Grossman’s Fillory trilogy might enjoy this one.

The Ninth House can be found on Libby/Overdrive.

Happy New Year! Happy reading!

January 1, 2020

[Lesley] I don’t set any reading resolutions (though there are lots of reading challenges out there – try one listed at the end of this post!), but this time of year always finds me adding new books to my to-read list. Between “best of” lists and previews of books to-be-published there are so many titles I hadn’t heard of or that I had forgotten about or that I didn’t realize I wanted to read. Here’s some of the titles I have added recently – if they turn out to be recommendable, you’ll see them again here later in the year!

Disappearing Earth, by Julia Phillips
The Topeka School, by Ben Lerner
Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli
Borne, by Jeff VanderMeer (and Dead Astronauts, #2 in the Borne series)
Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis, by Ada Calhoun
Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas
The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel

Just the tip of the iceberg! What are you looking forward to reading in the new year??

Book Challenges
How to plan for your 2020 reading challenge (Bookish):
https://www.bookish.com/articles/2020-reading-challenge/
Book Riot’s 2020 Read Harder challenge:
https://bookriot.com/2019/12/03/2020-read-harder-challenge/
Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge Listopias:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/20139904-2020-reading-challenge-listopias
Reading Challenge Addict blog list of 2020 reading challenges:
http://readingchallengeaddict.blogspot.com/p/2020-reading-challenges-to-help-feed.html