A review of Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

If one were to hold a competition for most overcrowded subgenre, I’m pretty certain the ‘New York domestic drama/identity crisis’ would be a leading contender. Does the world really need another book of Big Apple angst, Prospect Heights problems, East Village ennui? In most cases, likely not. But (New York-based, Brooklyn-born) Emma Straub spins the familiar streets and much-covered issues of marital and domestic strife into something fresh and psychologically astute with her latest novel, more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 26, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Widow by Fiona Barton

I'm nervous for all of us about how much personal information is available online and how it might be used. It's scary enough to make you want to lock your doors and not come out. But that's not really a way to live, is it? The Widow starts with a crime. The reader is not sure what the crime is exactly, who the criminal or criminals are and whether or not it's been resolved. What we do know is that a man who was involved is now dead and his widow, Jean Taylor, is relieved. more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 25, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

This haunting novel for children is equal parts warm and disturbing, comforting and frustrating. Annabelle lives in a tight-knit community in Pennsylvania in 1943. Aside from the menace of the current world war, and the dark legacy of the previous one, things are pretty and cozy for Annabelle in Wolf Hollow. Enter Betty Glengarry. Betty transfers to Annabelle’s one-room school as some sort of corrective measure for her “incorrigible” nature. Betty starts right in with bullying and intimidation more

Reviewed by Beth on
May 24, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Why would you want to read about a young, talented neurosurgeon that is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer writing about his disease? Because it's one of the best ways to understand what dealing with cancer is like and how tough it is to make decisions, even for those who are experts.  Paul Kalanithi was 36 years old when he started losing weight and suffering from excruciating back pain. He describes his symptoms, diagnosis and care in a basic way, as explained by a doctor in a more more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 23, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck

Little Sophia has a birthday coming up and she only wants one thing – a pet giraffe.  Unfortunately for Sophia she has four obstacles – her mother who is a judge, her father who is a businessman, her Uncle Conrad who is a politician and her Grand-mama who is very strict.  So Sophie plans her strategy to win over each member of her family – she presents her case to her mother “Giraffes are legal in all fifty states.” She creates a business plan for her father – apparently giraffe poop more

Reviewed by Karen on
May 20, 2016 | 0 comments
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A review of The Author's Voice podcast by The New Yorker Spring has sprung, and with it a new podcast of short fiction stories from the New Yorker called The Author's Voice. While spring is arriving in fits and starts, The Author's Voice hits the ground running with stories from Zadie Smith, Michael Cunningham and Tom Hanks. My favorite so far is a piece by Ian McEwan titled "My Purple Scented Novel". McEwan more

Reviewed by Beth - Central on
May 18, 2016 | 0 comments
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New Titles for June Since we’ve officially broken the 80 degree mark on the thermometer, it’s hard not to think about the impending days of summer. And for book publishing, that means bestselling authors like Emily Giffin, Erin Hildenbrand, Stuart Woods, each of which have titles appearing in June. Perennial bestseller James Patterson capitalizes on the upcoming Olympic Games by making Rio the setting for his latest Private novel, and Stephen King wraps up his Bill Hodges trilogy with End of Watch. more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 17, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Company Town by Madeline Ashby

I read a lot of pre-publication books (perks of the job) and most of the time, know what I'm getting. But every now and then I read something without much foreknowledge and even better get pleasantly thrilled with a new discover. Company Town is just such a novel. It's set on an oil rig off the coast of Canada and stars a Korean heroine who is tough and resilient. All good stuff. Company Town is set in the not too distant future in New Arcadia, a city-sized oil rig off more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 12, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper

This is a collection of correspondence between Gloria Vanderbilt, who is 92 years old, and her son, journalist Anderson Cooper. The core of the book surrounds a son asking questions of a mother as she nears the end of her years. Both Vanderbilt and Cooper have experienced great tragedy and loss together and this is their way of reconciling their relationship.    The idea of sharing stories with the ones we love before it's too late is a good one. Cooper's experience and clarity more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 10, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

How do you measure happiness? Can you put a price on the feel of rain on your skin? Hearing a soft breeze rustling the curtains? Seeing the sun through the leaves of a tree? And what happens when a bureaucratic national agency decides those numbers for you: where amount of daily worry and stress is measured against happiness, with adjustments for anxiety, measurements of empathy, setbacks, poverty versus friendships, emotional quotients. They claim to use advanced mathematics to come up more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
May 9, 2016 | 0 comments
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