Category Archives: Contemporary

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

Fates and Furies

I didn’t expect much from this book. I wasn’t a fan of Groff’s first book, The Monsters of Templeton, and there was nothing much in this book’s premise—rich white New Yorkers with marriage problems—that appealed to me enough to make me set aside … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 12 Comments

Broken Harbor

This is the fourth of Tana French’s loosely-linked mysteries that I’ve read, and I have to say that I’ve enjoyed each of them more than the last. Broken Harbor is no exception. In it, French explores love, mental illness, the … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries | 7 Comments

The Dinner

Two sets of parents have decided to meet at a high-end restaurant in Amsterdam in order to discuss a terrible crime committed by their children, and what their next steps should be: Serge and Babette; Paul and Claire. This, at … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 12 Comments

The Accidental

The title of Ali Smith’s The Accidental lets us in on what she’s doing. The plot is not a new one: a stranger breaks in on a dysfunctional family, works her mysterious magic, and leaves them completely different. You’ll have … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

The Wolf Border

I didn’t realize how much I cared about the characters in Sarah Hall’s latest novel until I got to a major plot point near the end of my lunch break a few days ago. That afternoon at work was long. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 13 Comments

Single, Carefree, Mellow

I first read about Katherine Heiny’s Single, Carefree, Mellow, on Swistle’s blog. Swistle made me curious: so many people don’t enjoy short stories, and (or) don’t like reading about affairs, but here is a book of short stories, almost all … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments