Category Archives: Contemporary

Between the World and Me

I’ll preface this post by saying that it’s hard for me to know how to write about this book. I read it back in October, but didn’t know how to start writing a review. Between the World and Me was … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Nonfiction | 20 Comments

The Red Car

I enjoyed Marcy Dermansky’s novel Bad Marie, with its deliciously bad main character. So I was excited to read her new book, which also promised a rebellious lady lead. But Leah is more aimless than outright bad, and although a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

A Spool of Blue Thread

It’s Anne Tyler’s thing to write about families. I’m fairly sure if she set out to write about something else — water rights, for instance, in the Southwest — she’d wind up writing about the ranchers’ parents and grandparents and … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 7 Comments

The Glorious Heresies

After finishing the Booker longlist, I decided to try a book that perhaps should have been on the longlist, so I turned to Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, winner of the 2016 Bailey’s Prize. It turns out that it was published … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments

Hot Milk

Deborah Levy’s novel about a twenty-something daughter and her ailing mother is one I’m going to be pondering for a while. Much like Levy’s previous novel, Swimming Home, this is a book that I’m not sure that I liked, but I’m finding … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

All That Man Is

The stories in this collection by David Szalay trace the life history of man by looking at nine men at different stages of life. There’s a university student named Simon, traveling through Europe with a friend. There’s Bérnard, who has … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 5 Comments

The Sellout

Satire is hard. It’s hard to write and hard to read. And I’ll admit straight off that I’m not good at reading it. If the point of the jokes are too obvious, I get annoyed. If it’s too subtle, I miss it. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 15 Comments

We Love You, Charlie Freeman

The Freeman family has an opportunity to be part of scientific history. Laurel Freeman learned sign language at a young age, but she hit a road block in her career as an interpreter because she refused to sign like a white person. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 9 Comments

Americanah

Americanah is the third book I’ve read by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, after Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus. This book, which digs deeply into the experience of being black in America (and, secondarily, the UK), is fascinating and … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry

At first glance, there’s nothing to tip readers off to the fact that this book is anything other than an auction catalog. The cover includes an auction date (Saturday, 14 February 2009) and the name of the auction house (Strachan … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 6 Comments