“The Catch" is a perfect introduction to Mick Herron’s Slough House series about disgraced British spies. It’s a fast-paced novella and the reason I picked up “Slow Horses." Here’s what to love about these two books.
Often in conversation someone mentions an upcoming book club meeting, and they say they need help with suggested reading to take with them. Here's a list I created for a recent request.
In "Days of Distraction," Alexandra Chang skillfully evokes the world of her Chinese American narrator, exploring themes of discrimination, self-perception and inter-racial relationships to poignant effect.
Readers looking for new stories, here's a list of five books, all new this year, a mix of fascinating JFK fact/fiction, WWII non-fiction, an "engrossing" biography, and a dark novel that's one of the six finalists for the International Booker Prize. Also, an update about delayed spring releases.
In this new novel, the inviting narrator relates a weekend adventure with his friend Vince as they attend the funeral of Vince’s cousin Ray. It's a dark story about friendship and loss with overtones of humor and sparkling weirdness.
Funny and heartwarming, Bess Kalb's new book narrated by her grandmother is just what our weary, fearful souls need right now. A must read for Bobby Bell's message of resilience, grace and wit.
An unnamed narrator imagines the life of her austere high school English teacher, compelled to understand what the Kolozsvár native experienced during the Holocaust and why she took her own life. It's profound storytelling in an intense, moving novel.
Andrew Krivak's new novel THE BEAR tells the story of a father and daughter living peacefully in an Edenic world now uninhabited by humans. What remains of past civilization are a few books and, in the far beyond, buried walls. In exquisite storytelling, we see past our muddled, technological existence to what's pure and real.
Niall Williams's new novel set in rural 1950's Ireland inspires optimism with the generous spirit of character Christy McMahon. McMahon arrives to assist with the installation of electricity in the village of Faha and seek forgiveness for a past mistake. Read more about this enchanting Irish story.
This fiction debut features gambling lost souls in the American West during the 1950s. It's written with gorgeous prose. Here's what the story is about.
I've captured here the novels I mentioned on NPR member station WOSU All Sides Weekend Books that aired November 8, 2019.
Ben Lerner's new novel "The Topeka School" takes us back to the 1990s with the return of Adam Gordon, the protagonist in Lerner's first novel, "Leaving from the Atocha Station." Adam is a graduating high school senior and debate champion, but Lerner is up to much more than a good story about a Kansas boy.
Two old Irish drug smugglers sit on a bench and chat in a derelict ferry terminal in Kevin Barry’s third novel, “Night Boat to Tangier.” It's a funny, dark, intoxicating story where the pages fly past under the quick-witted banter of Maurice and Charlie, who are looking for Maurice’s estranged daughter.
In “The Secrets We Kept,” Lara Prescott unfolds a little-known, Cold War story about Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago.” It’s historical fiction that’s entertaining, with a colorful cast of characters.
"A Girl Returned" is the English-language debut of Italian author Donatella Di Pietrantonio. This memorable novel captivates readers with its young narrator whose identity and sense of belonging is shattered by her misguided family.