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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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WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza was a buzzy book this fall and one of the ones I wanted to get to before the year was up. It’s a novel told in alternating chapters about two friends who are connected through a police shooting of an unarmed Black 14 year-old in Philadelphia. Jenny, the white wife of the police officer, and Riley, a Black newscaster, have been best friends since

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GHOSTS by Dolly Alderton

Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts was not what I expected. I thought it would be about a relationship where one person ghosts the other, and the rest of the book unravels the mystery of what happened and how the absence could be explained. (Kind of like Ghosted by Rosie Walsh (reviewed here)). Instead, it’s a deeper and more substantive look at the various pressures and longings of a woman in her early 30s in London. Why I

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MY BEAUTIFUL TERRIBLE PANDEMIC LIFE by Amy Suardi

The pandemic books have arrived. Some are specifically about the pandemic, some incorporate coronavirus into their plots, some are memoirs, some are fiction. Are we ready for them? Or is it still too soon? I say it’s not too soon. I just finished My Beautiful Terrible Pandemic Life, a collection of essays, poems and “micro-memoirs” about life in the early days of the pandemic, written by a mother of five in Washington, DC named Amy

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SHOULD WE STAY OR SHOULD WE GO by Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is in top form with her latest novel, Should We Stay Or Should We Go, in which she takes on mortality, longevity and living a life of one’s one control, all with a shockingly humorous, non-maudlin touch. Her two main characters, Kay and Cyril Wilkinson, make a pact at age 50 that they are going to carry out a suicide pact when they turn 80, so that they can avoid long, protracted deaths

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I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK by Mary Laura Philpott

I don’t read a lot of essays, but I’ve wanted to read Mary Laura Philpott’s collection I Miss You When I Blink for a while, so I decided to pick it up as the Book in a Genre I Don’t Often Read for the 2021 Everyday I Write The Book Reading Challenge. In the collection, Philpott – a self-described type-A personality who feels adrift and disoriented when she becomes a mother and steps away from

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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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