The Empty Chair

Un-Su Kim’s The Plotters is the story of a strangely endearing assassin fighting for both continued business and personal survival in South Korea’s hectic election season. Reseng was raised in the Dog Library, the hub of government-sponsored murder for hire, after being abandoned in a garbage can as an infant. Old Raccoon, the appointed head […]

The Educated Family

In The Topeka School, readers meet the illustrious psychotherapists of the Gordon family, their son Adam, and members of their community in Topeka, Kansas. Author Ben Lerner introduces the doctors Gordon, Adam’s parents, separately, and also reveals a great deal about their back story as a couple. Young Adam grows up throughout the book, transforming […]

2019 In The Books

It’s January 1, and according to my 2019 spreadsheet, I finished 64 books last year. That’s a huge leap from the 2018 total of 37 — a jump that I attribute to my extended illness and the increased free time I had due to not working. Since I didn’t write up every single book I […]

this is our house

I literally couldn’t wait to read The Dutch House, because Ann Patchett is one of my absolute favorite contemporary authors. The premise was intriguing to me — an unusual house in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and the children who were cast out of it by their evil stepmother after their father dies unexpectedly. My biggest […]

mean girls

Lisa Lutz weaves a dark, intricate tale of students and faculty at an elite New England boarding school in The Swallows. When Alexandra Witt joins the staff of Stonebridge Academy, she hands her creative writing class an anonymous assignment. After reading their submissions, Witt begins investigating a systemic issue of gender-based crime. When Witt becomes […]

work hard. have fun. make history.

It’s a little surprising that you can purchase The Warehouse on Amazon, as the fictional company at the center of the sci-fi novel, called Cloud, is clearly based on what Amazon has yet to become. In the not-so-distant future, climate change has caused the population to move away from the coastline and small businesses have […]

in your neighborhood

Ah, the suburbs. Matchy-matchy houses, sidewalks, greeting the neighbors, the sounds of children playing. It’s where Americans want to raise their families, right? Julie Langsdorf’s White Elephant takes readers inside a development in Northern Virginia in which the suburban utopia is being replaced by high drama. When a construction magnate purchases a few homes in […]

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