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COVER STORY by Susan Rigetti

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti is one of those books that is best to go into without knowing too much. It’s about the friendship between two women – an NYU student named Lora Ricci and a contributing editor at ELLE named Cat Wolff – and the ways in which their lives become interdependent. Cat lives at the Plaza and says she is a wealthy Russian heiress, but who is she really? And what does she want from Lora? As Cover Story progresses, the two become more entwined… and the deception between them deepens. Why I picked it up: Because Susie

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OLGA DIES DREAMING by Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez is an exuberant, sweeping novel about Olga Acevedo, a wedding planner living in New York who must reconcile her life and livelihood with the legacy of racism and neglect of Puerto Rico over the last decade. Her mother, a radical activist who left Olga when she was a teenager to move back to Puerto Rico and fight for independence, left Olga feeling abandoned and a disappointment. Her brother, Prieto,

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VLADIMIR by Julia May Jonas

You may finish Julia May Jonas’ debut novel Vladimir and ask, “WTF did I just read?” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Vladimir is definitely a provocative, messy novel that takes some unexpected turns and blows up a few stereotypes. If you’re looking for a dark(ish) character-driven story about aging, romantic obsession and #metoo, then I highly recommend giving Vladimir a try. Why I picked it up: I saw Vladimir on a number of

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THE ARC by Tory Henwood Hoen

Ursula Byrne is a branding professional in her mid 30s living in Brooklyn. She’s single, a serial dater with high expectations, and she’s ready to meet the love of her life. She signs up for a service called The ARC, a highly scientific process that promises to pair people up with someone with whom they are compatible in every possible way. Tory Henwood Hoen’s debut novel The Arc is about Ursula’s relationship with Rafael, her

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A TOWN CALLED SOLACE by Mary Lawson

I can’t remember where I heard about A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson, but it worked its way onto my radar late last year. I suggested it for my January book club pick and it won out, so we read it this month. And I am so glad we did! It’s a quiet but engrossing read about intertwined lives in a small Canadian town called Solace, and how several relationships built of circumstance and

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A LITTLE HOPE by Ethan Joella

Ethan Joella’s debut novel A Little Hope follows a cast of linked characters in a small Connecticut town as they experience the joys and sorrows of ordinary live. Deaths, sickness and disappointment are counterbalanced by moments of contentment – not a lot of pure joy – with the scales tipping heavily toward the former. But there are enough glimpses of hope to sustain these broken characters – and the novel’s readers. Why I picked it

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FIVE TUESDAYS IN WINTER by Lily King

There is a lot of loneliness in Lily King’s story collection, Five Tuesdays In Winter: single parents dealing with the loss of a partner; kids with distant or absent parents; unrequited relationships. But there is loveliness too, with unexpected connections made among these lonely people, or at least the promise of future healing and understanding. I don’t always love short stories, but these were really, really good. Why I picked it up: I like Lily

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CRUSHING by Sophie Burrows

I am a big fan of graphic novels. I especially like graphic novels without text, as I am always impressed by how illustrators creatively convey so much emotion, action, etc. without using words. So when I was offered the chance to review Crushing, a new graphic novel by Sophie Burrows, I jumped at the chance. Burrows’ lovely book tracks two lonely young people living in a big city. When the book opens, the woman commutes

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CRYING IN H MART by Michelle Zauner

I finally got to one of 2021’s popular reads: Michelle Zauner’s memoir, Crying In H Mart. Zauner, a biracial Korean woman, lost her mother when she was only in her mid 50s, and Crying In H Mart is a chronicle of her mother’s brief illness (cancer) and Zauner’s process of grieving in the years that followed. It’s also an exploration of their relationship, which was troubled through Zauner’s early 20s but improved after her mother’s

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FAULT LINES by Emily Itami

Book #1 of 2022 is… in the books. My first read was a debut novel by Emily Itami called Fault Lines. It’s about a housewife named Mizuki in Tokyo who is restless and dissatisfied with her role as a homemaker, wife and mother, as she mourns the freedom and excitement of her former life as a single singer in New York. At his best, her workaholic husband ignores her; at his worst, he is cold

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2021 Reading Year In Review

My reading year was definitely mixed. Between the pandemic, two kids going through the college application process, complicated job dynamics and no beach vacation, my reading came in fits and spurts, with some dry spells mixed in. I haven’t been in the car as much either, which means less audiobook time. I had some great successes with books I couldn’t put down, but I also found myself mired in books that seemed to take weeks

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ADDRESS UNKNOWN by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor

Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor is a short epistolary novel published in 1938. It is made up of correspondence between two art dealers who co-own a business: Max, a Jew living in San Francisco, and Martin, a German who returns home from California to live in Munich in 1932. When Martin returns to Germany, he is initially wary of an emerging nationalist leader named Adolf Hitler, but as the book goes on, he turns

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2022 EDIWTB READING CHALLENGE

Another year, another EDIWTB Reading Challenge! It’s simple – read a book from each category over the course of 2022. There are only 12 categories, so it’s pretty manageable. This is supposed to be fun and push your reading comfort zone a little wider. I kept my favorite categories from prior years and added some new ones in. Here is the spreadsheet where you can keep track of your progress. If your name doesn’t already

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THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES by Deesha Philyaw

Just under the wire for the end of 2021, a book I’ve had on hold for ages came in to the library. And because I’ve wanted to read it for so long, I started it right away. It’s called The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw, and it’s a collection of stories about African-American women and the tension between who they are and what society expects of them. The women in Philyaw’s stories

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I WAS TOLD IT WOULD GET EASIER by Abbi Waxman

Sometimes a book has such an irresistible premise that you pick it up against your better judgment. That was the case with I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman. It’s about a mother and daughter taking a college tour trip together up the east coast and learning more about each other in the process. I have read one other book by Abbi Waxman – The Bookish Life Of Nina Hill – and

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The Best Books of 2021

There are still 8 more days of 2021 (enough time to read another 5 star book!), but here are my top picks from the year so far. I’ll do my usual wrapup post on December 31, when I will reflect on the overall year of reading, but here are the 8 books that really stood out for me. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. This thriller about a struggling author who steals an award-winning plot

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