Jesmyn Ward’s National Book award winner “Salvage the Bones” is a complex, often difficult story that simply pulls the reader into the lives of a poor Mississippi family that ultimately survives Hurricane Katrina. In a Question and Answer session regarding the book, Jesmyn Ward says “I often feel that if I can get the language
Ulmer & Berne
Safe Houses – by Dan Fesperman
I decided it was time to take a break from my usual books focused on life’s hard questions, deep introspection and angst. I felt like it was time to lighten up, so I tackled Dan Fesperman’s 400 page “Safe Houses.” And I am glad I did!
Safe Houses is a story of CIA intrigue, with…
The Library Book – by Susan Orlean
My passion for libraries, good writing, great storytelling and history all come together in Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book”. The Library Book tells the story of the Los Angeles Public Library, beginning in 1986, when the main branch burned to the ground, back to the establishment of the Los Angeles Public Library in 1844, then…
Transcription – by Kate Atkinson
“Transcription” is a very enjoyable novel about spies and counter spies in England during World War II. The story is full of surprises.
The lead character, Juliet Armstrong, had wanted to join one of the women’s armed forces. But when war was declared she was summoned to an interview and found herself part of the…
The Mars Room – by Rachel Kushner
“A lot of worlds have existed that you can’t look up online or in any book, even as you think you have the freedom to find things out…And if someone did remember [certain people]…that person’s account would make them less real, because my memory of them would have to be corrected by facts, which are…
Clock Dance – by Anne Tyler
Clock Dance is the story of Willa and her clock dance through life. Willa first learns the concept of clock dance when she is 61 years old. But that part of the story comes later in this review. The novel is broken down into life stages.
We first meet Willa in 1967 when she is…
Warlight – by Michael Ondaatje
“In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.” Warlight is a story of intrigue during World War II. The narrator of the story (Nathaniel) is 14 years old when his parents announce that they are leaving for a year to go to Singapore…
The Return—Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between – by Hisham Matar
Hisham Matar, an American born British-Libyan author, is an acclaimed novelist and essayist. The Return—Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, is a memoir about his 2012 return to Libya and attempt to come to terms with the unfathomable loss of his father, Jaballa Matar.
Jaballa Matar was a wealthy Libyan, having made a small…
Asymmetry – by Lisa Halliday
“asymmetry a·sym·me·try (ā-sĭm’ĭ-trē)
Disproportion between two or more like parts;
lack of symmetry.” Dictionary.com
“Asymmetry” is three interlocking yet seemingly unrelated stories revolving around writing.
Alice, a 25 year old editorial assistant, meets Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Ezra Blazer at a park where she is reading a manuscript. Ezra is 65 years old when…
An American Marriage – by Tayari Jones
“An American Marriage” is a story about resilience in the face of conflicting emotions and frustrated expectations. An American Marriage is about rising above racial inequity and social injustice. And finally, An American Marriage is about coincidence and how life’s twists and turns are sometimes beyond our control.
The novel starts with an introduction to…