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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 King and the reviews of Five Tuesdays In Winter, which came out last November, were stellar. Plus my friend Sarah liked it a lot and

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A LIE SOMEONE TOLD YOU ABOUT YOURSELF by Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies’ book A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself is a book about the giant leap into anxiety and uncertainty known as parenthood. And it’s the rare book about parenthood – and abortion – written by a man. The main characters, an unnamed husband and wife, choose to abort a pregnancy when they learned that there was a significant chance that their child would be born with mosaicism, a rare but serious genetic

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OLYMPUS, TEXAS by Stacey Swann

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann is loosely based on Greek mythology, but before your eyes glaze over and you move on from this review…. you don’t need to know anything about Greek mythology to enjoy it. It’s about the transgressions and consequences of the Briscoe family in a Texas town outside Houston. The patriarch, Peter, has never been faithful to his wife, June, and he has three illegitimate children to show for it. One of

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FRIENDS AND STRANGERS by J. Courtney Sullivan

The Great November Book Slump is officially over. I finished a book, and am closing in on finishing two others. Phew. The one I finished is Friends And Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan. It’s about two women – a new mom named Elisabeth, and a college student named Sam who Elisabeth hires to babysit for her baby – and the struggles they each face around who they are and who they want to be. Elizabeth

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NEWS OF THE WORLD: Book vs Movie

Hi guys! I am alive and well. I haven’t posted here in a little while for a few reasons: I was traveling for work last week, had a fun COVID scare (negative), and was then deep in the vortex of college applications. Also, I have been a little stalled on the book front. I have a print book, an audiobook and a blow dry book going, and while I am enjoying each of them, none

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COUNT THE WAYS by Joyce Maynard

Oh, I have the worst book hangover right now. I just finished Joyce Maynard’s new novel, Count The Ways, which was so good that I didn’t want it to end. It’s a family drama about a woman named Eleanor who has a terribly sad, lonely childhood and marries a man named Cam in her mid-20s. They have three kids and enjoy several blissful years of parenting and building a life together until a tragedy strikes

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NEWS OF THE WORLD by Paulette Jiles

I’ve had News Of The World by Paulette Jiles on my shelf for several years (my copy is a 2016 ARC) and finally decided to pick it up to satisfy the book vs movie pairing category of the 2021 EDIWTB Reading Challenge, as the film adaptation of the book came out last December. (I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I will soon.) The book is historical fiction about Captain Jefferson Kidd, an 70 year-old

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THE OTHER BLACK GIRL by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, a novel about a young Black woman working at a prestigious publishing house in New York, was one of the hot books of spring 2021. I’ve had it in the house for a while, and for some reason the timing never felt right to pick it up. My book club chose it as one of our two October reads (don’t ask, we got off-schedule), providing the action-forcing

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WANT by Lynn Steger Strong

Want by Lynn Steager Strong is not a happy book. Its unnamed narrator, a mother of two young daughters in her thirties, lives with her husband in their cramped Brooklyn apartment. She works two jobs to make ends meet, wakes up at 4:30 AM to run miles in the cold, and spends her afternoons skipping out of work and sitting in bars, obsessing over her estranged childhood best friend, Sasha. She and her husband have

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THE PEOPLE WE KEEP by Allison Larkin

Ok, another unpopular opinion to follow… The People We Keep by Allison Larkin is about a teenager named April who lives in upstate New York in an old motor home. Her mom abandoned her and her father, who lives nearby with a new woman and her young son, comes by the motor home every now and again but has basically left April on her own. A singer/guitarist, April is not interested in school and has

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WE ARE THE BRENNANS by Tracey Lange

After a really strong reading month in August, September has been a lot weaker. I’ve picked up a few BOTM picks that I’ve been pretty meh about. The first was We Are The Brennans by Tracey Lange. It sounded like a book I would like – a family drama full of siblings and secrets. But it fell short for me in the end, in large part because the author spent more time telling me what

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THIS LIFE by Quntos KunQuest

Amidst the hubbub this week around big new September releases, I finished a book that’s unlikely to attract nearly as much attention, but should. It’s called This Life by Quntos KunQuest, and it’s a debut novel from an author who is currently incarcerated at Angola Penitentiary in Louisiana. This Life follows a newly imprisoned man named Lil’ Chris as he ages through the system. KunQuest, a poet and a rapper himself, intersperses verse throughout the

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THE PLOT by Jean Hanff Korelitz

You guys, this book. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz came out last spring, and I saw the buzz build for it almost immediately. A friend lent it to me right before my vacation, and I started it on the plane ride home. From that minute on, I could not put it down. Maybe the most addictive book I’ve read all year! The Plot opens with Jake Bonner, an author with one well-reviewed but obscure

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THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee

I gave into the hype and got The Idea Of You by Robinne Lee from the library for my recent vacation. This book has been around for a few years but I still see it everywhere, and it has a lot of ardent fans. For the unaware, it’s what my daughter calls “Harry Styles fanfic”: the story of a 39 year-old woman named Soléne who accompanies her tween to a meet and greet for her

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THE PAPER PALACE by Miranda Cowley Heller

I was really excited to read The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller, a book I picked up earlier this summer, because so many people I know had highly recommended it. It’s a story told in flashbacks about a woman named Elle whose family owns a ramshackle compound in Cape Cod where she has always spent her summers. In the present day, she has just slept with her best friend, Jonas, while their respective spouses

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EARLY MORNING RISER by Katherine Heiny

I went into Katherine Heiny’s Early Morning Riser knowing that it had gotten a mixed reception when it came out earlier this summer. Not really a surprise – I myself have had mixed success with Heiny’s earlier books. I loved her collection of stories, Single, Carefree, Mellow, which I found entertaining and very perceptive about relationships. I wasn’t as crazy about her second book, Standard Deviation, which had some over-the-top characters and implausible pairings and

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