Book Talk: THE INTERESTINGS, by Meg Wolitzer

Book Talk: THE INTERESTINGS, by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings: A Novel Meg Wolitzer (Facebook) Riverhead (2014), Trade paper (ISBN 1594488398 / 9781594632341) Fiction, 481 pages Source: Purchased e-book (iBooks edition) I’ve been feeling for a while that fiction doesn’t call to me the way it used to, and that more of the books I get excited about reading these days are some variety of nonfiction. At this point, with fiction, I’m less inclined to try new-to-me authors without solid recommendations, but I still give new […]

Book Talk: A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY, by Carys Bray

Book Talk: A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY, by Carys Bray

A Song for Issy Bradley: A Novel Carys Bray (Twitter) (Facebook) Ballantine Books (August 12, 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 0553390880 / 9780553390889) Fiction, 352 pages, $26.00 A version of this review was previously published in Shelf Awareness for Readers (August 12, 2014). Shelf Awareness provided me with a publisher-furnished galley to facilitate the review, and compensated me for the review they received and posted. Faith, guilt, family responsibilities and cultural norms overlap and clash in Carys Bray’s debut novel. A […]

Book Talk: THIS IS THE WATER, by Yannick Murphy

Book Talk: THIS IS THE WATER, by Yannick Murphy

This Is the Water: A Novel Yannick Murphy Harper Perennial (July 29, 2014), Trade paper (ISBN 0062294903 / 9780062294906) Fiction, 352 pages A version of this review was previously published in Shelf Awareness for Readers (August 1, 2014). Shelf Awareness provided me with a publisher-furnished galley to facilitate the review, and compensated me for the review they received and posted. In This Is the Water, Yannick Murphy (The Call) explores the effects of the shocking, seemingly random killing of one of its stars […]

Book Talk: THE LEFTOVERS, by Tom Perrotta

Book Talk: THE LEFTOVERS, by Tom Perrotta

The Leftovers Tom Perrotta (Facebook) St. Martin’s Press (2011), Hardcover (ISBN 0312358342 / 9780312358341) Fiction, 368 pages Source: Secondhand ARC received from another blogger (my apologies for not tagging you, but I’ve had this one for a few years and can’t remember who passed it on to me–thank you anyway!) We’re Netflix binge-ers at our house, but we don’t subscribe to any of the premium-cable channels. This means when one of them decides to adapt a […]

(Audio)Book Talk: THE SILKWORM, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

(Audio)Book Talk: THE SILKWORM, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

The Silkworm (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of J.K. Rowling) Audiobook read by Robert Glenister Mulholland Books (June 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 0316206873 / 9780316206877) Fiction (mystery/crime fiction), 464 pages Source: purchased audiobook (Hachette Audio, June 2014, ISBN 9781611134940; Audible ASIN B00IMLDGIM) I was surprised by how much I enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s first outing as mystery writer “Robert Galbraith,” The Cuckoo’s Calling, when I listened to the audio version this past spring. This was partly due to […]

Book Talk: THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, by Gabrielle Zevin

Book Talk: THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel Gabrielle Zevin (Twitter) (Facebook) Algonquin Books (April 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 1616203218 / 9781616203214) Fiction, 272 pages Source: Purchased e-book (iBooks) Gabrielle Zevin is better known as a YA author, but her novel for adults, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, has been getting a lot of attention from the Book People since its publication in the spring. It’s understandable. Book People are often drawn to stories about Book […]

Book Talk: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTS, by Christopher Beha (Shelf Awareness)

Book Talk: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTS, by Christopher Beha (Shelf Awareness)

Arts & Entertainments: A Novel Christopher Beha (Facebook) (Twitter) Ecco Press (July 1, 2014), trade paper (ISBN 006232246X / 9780062322463) Fiction, 288 pages A version of the following was previously published as a Starred Review in Shelf Awareness for Readers (July 15, 2014). Shelf Awareness provided me with a publisher-furnished galley to facilitate the review, and compensated me for the review they received and posted. In his second novel, Arts and Entertainments, Christopher Beha (What Happened to Sophie Wilder) shifts his setting from the world […]

Book Talk: GOLDEN STATE, by Michelle Richmond

Book Talk: GOLDEN STATE, by Michelle Richmond

Golden State: A Novel Michelle Richmond (Twitter) (Facebook) Bantam (February 2014), Trade paper (ISBN 0385343280 / 9780385343282) Fiction, 304 pages Source: Purchased ebook (iBooks edition, ISBN 9780345532404) Southern-rooted, San Francisco-based Michelle Richmond was my “Must-Read Author Discovery” of 2008 thanks to her novels The Year of Fog and No One You Know, but I’d lost touch with her a bit until her latest novel, Golden State, was published earlier this year. Certain elements here will be familiar to those who’ve read this author’s […]

Book Talk: BRUTAL YOUTH, by Anthony Breznican

Book Talk: BRUTAL YOUTH, by Anthony Breznican

Brutal Youth: A Novel Anthony Breznican (Twitter) (Goodreads author page) Thomas Dunne Books (June 10, 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 1250019354 / 9781250019356) Fiction, 416 pages A version of this review was previously published in Shelf Awareness for Readers (June 17, 2014). Shelf Awareness provided me with a publisher-furnished galley to facilitate the review, and compensated me for the review they received and posted. Anthony Breznican’s Brutal Youth is at first reminiscent of The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier’s classic young-adult novel of […]

Book Talk: THE POSSIBILITIES, by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Book Talk: THE POSSIBILITIES, by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Possibilities: A Novel Kaui Hart Hemmings (Facebook) (Twitter) Simon & Schuster (May 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 1476725799 / 9781476725796) Fiction, 288 pages A version of this review was submitted to Shelf Awareness for Readers, but was not published due to timing and space limitations. Shelf Awareness provided me with a publisher-furnished galley to facilitate the review, and compensated me for the review they received. In her second novel, The Possibilities, Kaui Hart Hemmings again displays […]

(Audio)Book Talk: THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir

(Audio)Book Talk: THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir

The Martian: A Novel Andy Weir (Facebook) Audiobook read by R.C. Bray Crown (February 2014), hardcover (ISBN 0804139024 / 9780804139021) Fiction (science fiction/suspense), 384 pages Source: Purchased audiobook (Podium Publishing, March 2013; Audible ASIN B00B5HO5XA) The Martian is almost certainly one of those books that I wouldn’t have noticed in my pre-book-blogging life, and given that my pre-book-blogging reading life didn’t include audiobooks, I absolutely wouldn’t have read it by ear even if I had become aware of its existence. I […]

(Audio)Book Talk: THE CUCKOO’S CALLING, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

(Audio)Book Talk: THE CUCKOO’S CALLING, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

The Cuckoo’s Calling (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of J.K. Rowling) Audiobook read by Robert Glenister Mulholland Books (2014), Paperback (ISBN 1478980826 / 9781478980827) Fiction, 464 pages Source: Purchased audiobook (Hachette Audio, May 2013, ISBN 9781611134933; Audible ASIN B00CTQ2ZS8) True confession time: I doubt I would have paid any attention to The Cuckoo’s Calling if I hadn’t learned that “Robert Galbraith” was a pseudonym, and that this detective novel was a no-longer-secret side project for […]

Book Talk: MIDSUMMER, by Carole Giangrande

Book Talk: MIDSUMMER, by Carole Giangrande

Midsummer Carole Giangrande (Facebook) (Twitter) (Goodreads) Inanna Poetry and Fiction Series (2014), Paperback (ISBN 1771331380 / 9781771331388) Fiction (novella), 150 pages Source: Publisher, via TLC Book Tours I don’t often read novellas. I’m not sure many people do, actually–they’re such an odd specialized form of fiction, and I suspect that probably makes it a challenge to get them published. I like that they’re more developed than short stories without requiring the time commitment of full-length fiction, but those same […]

Book Talk: THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak

Book Talk: THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief Markus Zusak (Facebook) (Twitter) (Tumblr) Alfred A. Knopf (2007), Paperback (ISBN 0375842209 / 9780375842207) Fiction (YA), 576 pages Source: Purchased I have no good excuses for why it took so long for me to read The Book Thief. I bought it more than four years ago–it was logged into my LibraryThing catalog on January 1, 2010–and began reading it just over four months ago, on January 1 of this year. It was the first book I started reading in […]

Book Talk: CLEVER GIRL, by Tessa Hadley

Book Talk: CLEVER GIRL, by Tessa Hadley

Clever Girl: A Novel Tessa Hadley Harper (March 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 0062270397 / 9780062270399) Fiction, 272 pages Source: Publisher, for TLC Book Tours I was scheduled as the last stop on the TLC Book Tour for Clever Girl earlier this month, but hadn’t finished reading it at the time I was due to post. I apologize for missing my deadline, but I have a few thoughts on the book to share now. Given some of the turns that […]