Category Archives: Contemporary

What I Read This Summer: June Readings

Instead of attempting to review all the books I read while on my unplanned break, or leaving them entirely unrecorded, I’m going to do a series of posts with mini-reviews of what I read when I wasn’t blogging. If anyone … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 6 Comments

Normal People

Now I’m going to see if I can keep up my blogging momentum by writing about a book I enjoyed well enough but don’t think I have much to say about it. Sally Rooney’s Normal People seems to be something of … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 6 Comments

Learning to Swim

Abigail Onions was something of a misfit at school. She had trouble with a bully and didn’t have a lot of friends. For years, her only friend was not someone she especially liked, just someone willing to spend time with … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 2 Comments

Freshwater

When Ada was born, she did not come into the world alone. She was accompanied by a group of spirit/gods, or ogbanje. These spirits were largely silent, but they had an influence that grew over time. In Akwaeke Emezi’s novel, … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 2 Comments

Ghost Wall

Seventeen-year-old Silvie and her parents have joined up with a group of experiential archaeology students to spend part of their summer in rural England, attempting to live as the people of the iron age did. They wear simple tunics, forage … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 12 Comments

There There

One of the characters in Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, is a filmmaker named Dene Ozendene who is taking over a project started by his uncle Lucas before his death. In an interview for a grant, he describes the work this … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments

The Golden State

Daphne, the narrator of Lydia Kiesling’s debut novel, is exhausted and frustrated and in terrible need of a break. She’s been raising her daughter, Honey, on her own since her husband, Engin, was barred from entry to the United States … Continue reading

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Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala’s Speak No Evil is the story of two best friends, Niro and Meredith, both high school seniors in Washington, DC. Niro, who carries most of the narrative, is a track star bound for Harvard, but his future starts to be … Continue reading

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So Lucky

“You scared? You should be. It’s aiming to kill you. And I doubt you’ll stop it.” Those are the words Mara Tagarelli hears during her first support group for people with multiple sclerosis. Mara was diagnosed in the same week that … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 3 Comments

A River of Stars

When Scarlett Chen became pregnant, the baby’s father, a wealthy (and married) factory owner and Scarlett’s employer, sent her from China to Los Angeles so that his son would be born on American soil. After so many daughters, this baby … Continue reading

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