Fiction Book Reviews
- Guest Reviewer Bios (5)
- Horror (8)
- Mystery / Suspense (41)
- Short Story Collections (6)
- Wmn's Lit/Chck Lit/Romance (28)
'11/22/63' by Stephen King - Book Review
11/22/63 by Stephen King is a novel that will appeal to many kinds of readers.
1942 by Robert Conroy - Book Review
1942 by Robert Conroy is an alternative history novel that considers the implications of a “third strike” on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
'A Fortunate Age' by Joanna Smith Rakoff - Book Review
Joanna Smith Rakoff’s debut novel, A Fortunate Age, tells the story of a group of friends from college who move to New York City together and find their life paths diverging and their friendships changing. The story of A Fortunate Age is closely tied to the time and place it portrays—trendy New York City neighborhoods in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
'A Good American' by Alex George - Book Review
A Good American by Alex George is an immigrant story and debut novel.
'A Mercy' by Toni Morrison - Book Review
A Mercy by Toni Morrison is a short novel, and can be appreciated best when read in one or a couple sittings. Indeed, the the simple story is told in several voices, but reading these voices in succession weaves a tapestry that tells a larger story about America's history of slavery and the extermination of Native Americans.
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon - Book Review
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon is the author's second novel, following The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. In A Spot of Bother, George Hall is convinced that the eczema on his thigh is cancer and is unable to deal with his daughter's wedding, his wife's affair, and his son's homosexuality.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - Book Review
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is superbly written, has a page-turning story, and will help you learn more about Afghanistan. In his follow up novel to The Kite Runner, Hosseini has once again created a heartbreaking masterpiece that connects readers with life in Afghanistan over the past several decades and highlights the common hopes, dreams and struggles that make us human.
'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' by Seth Grahame-Smith
From the New York Times bestselling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...I’m sorry. I don’t know if I can do this review justice without giving a good chuckle at that sentence. But that’s where the laughing ends. No doubt, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will become a bestseller in its own right. It does not contain the whimsy and wink that Zombies did. However, overall, Vampire Hunt…
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
Tom Perrotta once again focuses his observant eye and listening ear to white suburbia in his new novel The Abstinence Teacher.
'And the Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hosseini - Book Review
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is his third novel about Afghanistan.
'Angel Time' by Anne Rice - Book Review
Anne Rice, renowned mistress of the modern vampire and accomplished author, tackles another fantastic realm in Angel Time. A distraught assassin is asked by one from the realms of the heavens to join the other side. He does. And then they go back via "angel time" to shape another's history.
'The Angel's Game' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Book Review
'The Angel's Game' is Carlos Ruiz Zafon's exercise in spinning the reader through a Faustian labyrinth filled with gothic mystery and tragic romance. This is sumptuous and dark fairy tale writing, with some serious thoughts on good and evil and the search for the human soul.
Anna Karenina - Review of a Classic Novel & Oprah Pick
Classic literature guide, Esther Lombardi, review this classic Russian novel that hit the bestsellers lists as an Oprah Book Club selection.
'Ape House' by Sara Gruen - Book Review
Ape House by Sara Gruen is the next novel from Gruen after her bestselling Water for Elephants. In Ape House, Sara Gruen once again makes connections between animals and humans. Read this review of Ape House to find out if it lives up to Water for Elephants.
'Arcadia' by Lauren Groff - Book Review
Arcadia is Lauren Groff's second novel.
'Beatrice and Virgil' by Yann Martel - Book Review
Beatrice and Virgil, Martel’s third novel, sadly falls short of Life of Pi’s magic. It packs a punch at the end, but the storytelling this time is much more plodding and burdensome, distracting from the powerful metaphors at work.
'Beginner's Greek' by James Collins - Book Review
'Beginner’s Greek' is the debut novel from James Collins, and it’s a shame he’s waited this long to begin. The story of Holly and Peter is a simple, old-fashioned story that’s sweet but not treacly; beautifully-written but not precious. 'Beginner’s Greek' is utterly delightful.
Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors - Book Review
Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors is the fictional story surrounding the building of the Taj Mahal. While historians agree that the Taj Mahal was built by an emperor in the seventeenth century who was grieving the loss of his wife, the true details surrounding this story have been lost. Shors imagines them in Beneath a Marble Sky, bringing to life a story of love, war, beauty and tragedy.
'Big Brother' by Lionel Shriver - Book Review
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver is a novel that will have you considering your family relationships and your relationship to food.
'Bleeding Kansas' by Sara Paretsky - Book Review
'Bleeding Kansas' tells the story of the Grelliers, a farming family whose Kansas roots extend back to the fight over slavery. Though times have changed many of the struggles they face, including clashes between neighbors over war and religion, are just as critical. Paretsky’s novel paints an intimate portrait of a family and community dealing with each other’s differences.
The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani - Book Review
Anita Amirrezvani's debut novel, The Blood of Flowers, tells the story of a young woman in 17th-century Iran with a passion for knotting rugs. Her life is thrown into an uproar when her father dies, and she and her mother must depend on the kindness of wealthy relatives and hope that the young woman finds a wealthy husband.
'Breaking Dawn' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review
Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final installment in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga.
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo - Book Review
Richard Russo truly is Nobody's Fool. After many successful, some would say classic novels (time will most definitely tell), including his most recent Pulitzer-prize winning Empire Falls, Richard Russo creates (or recreates) history by breathing life into the small New England town of Thomaston in Bridge of Sighs.
'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' by Junot Diaz
The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Junot Diaz's first novel. Oscar and his family, who emigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic before he was born, suffer an unbreakable string of bad luck that is said to have started when his grandfather offended the psychotic DR dictator.
'The Burgess Boys' by Elizabeth Strout - Book Review
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout is a story about a New England family in the same vein as Olive Kitteridge.
'Brooklyn' by Colm Tóibín - Book Review
Brooklyn, a novel written by Colm Tóibín, a critically acclaimed Irish novelist, tells the story of a young woman from a small town in Ireland who leaves the world she’s known and moves to Brooklyn in the 1950s. Brooklyn is a compelling and poignant story of identity, transformation and family ties.
Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier - Book Review
Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, has written another historical novel, this time turning her attention to late 18th-century London and the writer William Blake. Burning Bright tells the story behind Blake’s writing of his masterpiece, Songs of Innocence and Experience, through the eyes of a teenage boy and girl who are neighbors to Blake in London.
'Canada' by Richard Ford - Book Review
Canada by Richard Ford is a coming of age story about an American teen who has fled to Canada.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - Book Review
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling's is about politics in a small British town.
'A Change in Altitude' by Anita Shreve - Book Review
A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve tells the story of a young married couple who move to Kenya in the 1970s. The tragedies they experience--both major and minor--forever change their marriage. Shreve paints a quiet, detailed picture of daily Kenyan life and the struggles of a marriage.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Laurie Viera Rigler is, like so many other avid readers, a Jane Austen addict. In her first novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Rigler imagines a twenty-first century Los Angeles woman who finds herself transported to eighteenth-century England. Sure to appeal to Jane Austen fans everywhere, Confessions is a delightful read.
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - Book Review
If you find England’s King Henry VIII and his eight wives fascinating, you’ll want to pick up The Constant Princess or one of Philippa Gregory’s other novels that chronicle the lives of women in the King’s court.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon tells the story of a teenager with autism's quest to find out who killed the neighbor's dog. Find out if this mystery is worth getting to the bottom of.
'Cutting for Stone' by Abraham Verghese - Book Review
Don't judge this book by its cover. 'Cutting for Stone' is a masterful first work of fiction by Abraham Verghese. Not since Khaled Hosseini debuted with 'The Kite Runner' has their been a novel that could and should capture the hearts of people around the world.
'Day After Night' by Anita Diamant- Book Review
Anita Diamant, the best-selling author of The Red Tent, has a new novel about the experiences of four women who survived the Nazi regime in Europe only to find themselves detained in a detainment camp in Haifa, in modern-day Israel.
Digging to America by Anne Tyler - Book Review
Digging to America by Anne Tyler tells the story of two families who meet at the airport when they are adopting Korean infants. The Donaldson family is as all-American as they come. The Yazdan family is Iranian immigrants. Digging to America uses the story of the families' growing friendship to explore what it means to be American.
'A Discovery of Witches' by Deborah Harkness - Book Review
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first in the All Souls Trilogy. It is a debut fantasy novel about witches, vampires, daemons and love.
The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian - Book Review
The Double Bind is a story about a young woman working at homeless shelter who becomes fascinated with photographs taken by one of her clients, photos that suggest he might be tied to her own past in mysterious ways. Chris Bohjalian’s novel is plotted like a mystery but is written like the best literary fiction.
'Drood' by Dan Simmons - Book Review
A daunting task creates a haunting tale. Only a writer with the expertise and perception of Dan Simmons could possibly attempt to rewrite the history and personality of not one, but two world-wide acclaimed authors, and nearly deconstruct their work into something new.
'Eclipse' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review
Eclipse is the third book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga.
The End: Book the Thirteenth of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
In the last book of the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, The Baudelaire Orphans and Count Olaf share one last plight together on a mysterious island.
'Fall of Giants' by Ken Follett - Book Review
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is the first book in Follett's Century Trilogy. Find out if this 1000 page novel is worth reading.
'The Family Fang' by Kevin Wilson - Book Review
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson is about a family who does performance art and the kids who must endure it.
'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green - Book Review
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is about a teen with cancer.
Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky - Book Review
Fire in the Blood is a recently discovered novella by Irène Némirovsky, written in French in 1941 before Némirovsky was killed in Auschwitz during World War II. Fire in the Blood is a simple but well written story of village life in France before the war and the passions of youth.
For One More Day by Mitch Albom - Book Review
For One More Day by Mitch Albom is the story of a man who gets the chance to spend one more day with his mother, who died 8 years earlier. In the vein of Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day takes readers to a place between life and death in a story of redemption and one man's struggle to deal with his ghosts.
'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen - Book Review
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen has attracted much critical praise, but is it just for literary types or is it an overall good read?
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon - Book Review
Jews with Swords. That was what Michael Chabon had in mind for the original title of Gentleman of the Road. Combine the original and published titles together and you get a sense of the unique atmosphere, sly wit and daring do that Chabon is about to tell.
'Give Me Back My Legions!' by Harry Turtledove - Book Review
Give Me Back My Legions! by Harry Turtledove is a piece of historical fiction centering on the significant Roman defeat by German warriors in the first century AD Battle of the Teutoberg Forest. While a strong entry, the book is neither Turtledove's best nor the best in the historical fiction genre.
'The Given Day' by Dennis Lehane - Book Review
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane is a psychological thriller that takes place in Boston.
'Gold' by Chris Cleave - Book Review
Gold by Chris Cleave follows Olympic cyclists and a family with a sick child.
'The Gone-Away World' by Nick Harkaway - Book Review
A pink fuzzy book. Neon green type. Letters beginning to disappear like long lost sanity. It’s like the cover of ‘The Gone-Away World’ was dipped in a vat of nuclear waste and came out smiling, slightly anarchic, like the Joker on a comic binge. Yep. That’s the personification of Nick Harkaway’s debut novel to a T.
'The Great Night' by Chris Adrian - Book Review
The Great Night by Chris Adrian is a novel that plays off Shakespeare's A Mid-Summer Night's Dream.
'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by M.Shaffer and A. Barrows
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a charming book about reading, letters and life on a small island during and after World War II.
'Handle with Care' by Jodi Picoult - Book Review
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult raises controversial ethical issues through the story of parents who are suing for "wrongful birth," claiming that the doctor should have caught their daughter's medical condition before she was born so that they would have been able to terminate the pregnancy.
'Her Fearful Symmetry' by Audrey Niffenegger - Book Review
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is the story of two American twins who inherit their aunt's apartment in London. When they move there, they find out that their aunt's ghost is still living there.
'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett - Book Review
The Help, a first novel from Kathryn Stockett, is the story of a young white woman in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s and a group of black maids who work for the families of her friends. Stockett writes about the struggles the women face as they chafe against the written and unwritten rules that limit their lives.
'The Heretic's Daughter' by Kathleen Kent - Book Review
'The Heretic's Daughter' by Kathleen Kent is a novel about the Salem Witch Trials. Kent is descended from one of the accused women.
'Hitler's War' by Harry Turtledove - Book Review
Hitler’s War by Harry Turtledove joins the crowded field of "what if" tales about World War II. It has two early breakpoints, one that alters the Spanish Civil War and one that involves British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, standing up to Hitler over the annexation of Czechoslovakia.
'A Hologram for the King' by Dave Eggers
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers takes place in Saudi Arabia and is rich in writing, if not action.
'The Host' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review
The Host is Stephenie Meyer's first adult novel. The human race has been taken over by parasitic but peace-loving aliens called souls. Melanie, the human host of a soul called Wanderer, is resistant and refuses to fade away, leading Wanderer on a journey unlike any she's experienced in her nine lives in other hosts' bodies around the universe.
'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet' by Jamie Ford - Book Review
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a moving love story and a well written piece of historical fiction. Jamie Ford not only opens up the past, he also creates characters that readers will enjoy getting to know.
The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay - Book Review
The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay is a novel about Paris. Find out if you will like it in this review.
'The House at Riverton' by Kate Morton - Book Review
In 'The House at Riverton' by Kate Morton, a former English servant who worked for a prominent family at the beginning of the nineteenth century remembers her relationship with the family and secrets about a suicide that she has carried for 70-something years.
'House Rules' by Jodi Picoult - Book Review
Jodi Picoult is known for combining controversial issues, courtroom scenes and family drama. In House Rules, a boy with Asperger's syndrome is accused of murder. Picoult shifts viewpoints and examines the prejudices surrounding the boy's social disability. All the while, Picoult keeps readers in suspense about who actually committed the murder.
'The Hunger Games' and 'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins - Book Review
he Hunger Games and its sequel, Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins are both worth reading in a stop-whatever-else-you’re-doing-and-consume-these-in-48-hours-or-less type fashion. Read a complete review of the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy.
'I Curse the River of Time' by Per Petterson - Book Review
I Curse the River of Time is Per Petterson's next novel, following the success of Out Stealing Horses.
'If Jack’s in Love' by Stephen Wetta - Book Review
If Jack's in Love by Stephen Wetta is a coming of age tale and Wetta's debut.
'The Imperfectionists' by Tom Rachman - Book Review
The Imperfectionists is Tom Rachman’s first published novel, written from his experiences working for an Italian newspaper.
'In the Shadow of the Banyan' by Vaddey Ratner - Book Review
In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner is a work of fiction based on her experiences as a girl in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.
'The Interestings' by Meg Wolitzer - Book Review
The Interestings is about the adult lives of artists who met as teens during summer camp.
'Juliet, Naked' by Nick Hornby - Book Review
In 'Juliet, Naked,' Hornby's honest characterizations are all in place, bared souls, all qualities and imperfections. The novel is anchored by Annie, an endearing middle-aged woman whose relationship with Duncan, a somewhat obsessed fan of a singer songwriter named Tucker Crowe, is coming to an end even as a strange, deeper and possibly 'more real' relationship with the songwriter her soon-to-be …
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Book Review
Find out about Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Is this tale of friendship, betrayal and redemption that is set in Afghanistan worth reading? The Kite Runner topped the bestsellers lists for several reasons. Find out what they are here.
'The Lacuna' by Barbara Kingsolver - Book Review
The Lacuna follows the life of Harrison Shepherd, a boy with an American father and Mexican mother who grows up in both countries, from 1929 - 1951. Although The Lacuna is presented as Shepherd's diaries and letters, he is not a very strong character in the novel. Indeed, The Lacuna is much more about what is happening in the world around Shepherd as he works for real historical figures.
'The Language of Flowers' by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - Book Review
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a book that uses flowers to tell the story of someone who grew up in foster care.
'Last Last Chance' by Fiona Maazel
Last Last Chance, Fiona Maazel’s debut novel, is the frenetic, disjointed narrative of Lucy, a 30-year-old woman struggling to stay sober. Meanwhile, her father was a scientist working on the pneumonic plague; he killed himself after someone stole vials of the plague from his lab.
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton - Book Review
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton is a short, comic novel about a woman who arranges for her husband to have an affair with her personal hero so that she can observe the relationship and write a romance novel.
'Liberating Atlantis' by Harry Turtledove - Book Review
Liberating Atlantis is the third in Harry Turtledove’s Atlantis series. The series straddles the border of fantasy and alternative history and centers on events in the large island of Atlantis. Liberating Atlantis concerns a slave revolt in the United States of Atlantis and has obvious parallels to the antebellum United States of America and the American Civil War.
'Little Bee' by Chris Cleave - Book Review
Little Bee, a powerful and beautiful novel written by Chris Cleave, is hard to describe. This is due, in part, to the book jacket's coyness about the subject matter; it suggests that the reader not to reveal too much about the plot. It's not revealing too much to say that Little Bee is a captivating novel, exquisitely written. It's worth picking up to find its secrets out for yourself.
'Live by Night' by Dennis Lehane - Book Review
Live by Night is the second book in Dennis Lehane's trilogy about the early 20th century
'The Lowland' by Jhumpa Lahari - Book Review
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahari is a novel that takes place over decades in the U.S. and India.
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan - Book Review
The renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright has received much historical attention, but author Nancy Horan turns her gaze on Mamah Borthwick, Wright’s lover -- their long-term affair scandalized the public -- who deserves attention in her own right for her work as a feminist.
'Lucy' by Laurence Gonzales - Book Review
Lucy by Laurence Gonzales is a fiction novel about a girl who is half human, half bonobo ape. It is a science fiction thriller that explores what it means to be human.
Madonnas of Leningrad - Book Review
Madonnas of Leningrad is an astonishing debut novel that captivates and moves the reader. Debra Dean’s novel tells the story of Marina, a young woman enduring the siege of Leningrad during World War II.
'Major Pettigrew's Last Stand' by Helen Simonson - Book Review
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson is a delightful novel that takes place in modern day Britain, but has old world charm.
'Man in the Dark' by Paul Auster - Book Review
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster is about August Brill, a 60-year-old book critic and insomniac trying to make it through one night, holding onto the love of his granddaughter and the memory of his wife to shelter himself as the weird world rolls on.
'The Man with the Iron Heart' by Harry Turtledove - Book Review
The Man with the Iron Heart is an alternative history novel in which Reinhard Heydrich leads a violent Nazi uprising in a chaotic post-war Germany.
'The Marriage Plot' by Jeffrey Eugenides - Book Review
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides is his first novel in almost a decade and very different than Middlesex.
Memoirs of a Geisha - Book vs. Movie
Read a review of both the book and film versions of Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Find out whether Memoirs of a Geisha is worth reading and worth seeing.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Book Review
The Memory Keeper's Daughter starts on a snowy night in 1964 when a doctor delivers his own twins and discovers that one of them, the daughter, has been born with Downs Syndrome. In a hasty decision he gives the daughter to a nurse to take to an institution and tells his wife the baby died. The nurse raises the daughter as her own.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - Book Review
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is told by Cal, a hermaphrodite who was raised as a girl until adolescence. Cal tells the story of his family of Greek immigrants over three generations, weaving a tale of mythic quality that is at the same time as down-to-earth as the motor city in which they live.
'The Mill River Recluse' by Darcie Chan - Book Review
The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan is an electronic book about a woman in Vermont who never leaves her mansion on a hill.
'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs - Book Review
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a young adult novel that includes real, old, strange photos.
The Mission Song by John Le Carre - Book Review
John Le Carre is considered the master of the literary thriller. His 20th novel, The Mission Song is a timely narrative, with an empathetic eye into the open mind of Bruno Salvador, an orphaned child of a Catholic Irish missionary and a Congolese woman, and the state of Africa in word politics.
'Mockingjay' by Suzanne Collins - Book Review
Mockingjay is bloody brilliant. The end of The Hunger Games is dark as midnight with a faint spark left from the smoldering fire.
'The Monsters of Templeton' by Lauren Groff - Book Review
'The Monsters of Templeton' is a debut novel that’s gotten a lot of buzz—and it’s well deserved. Lauren Groff has written a book that’s an ode to her hometown, Cooperstown, New York. Filled with monsters, ghosts, ancestors with secrets, and illegitimate children, 'The Monsters of Templeton' is monstrously enjoyable.
Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace - Book Review
Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician is Daniel Wallace's follow up to his successful novel, Big Fish. Read this review of Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician to find out if Wallace works his magic again.
'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult - Book Review
My Sister's Keeper is the story of a girl who sues her parents for a right to make her own medical decisions.
'Netherland' by Joseph O'Neill - Book Review
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill is a novel of reverie that is as grounded in reality as New York itself. O’Neill takes readers through one man’s period of personal despair without pulling us into the dark. Indeed, candles of hope light the way through the narrative until the satisfying, though not saccharine, ending.
'New Moon' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review
'New Moon' is the second book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.
'The Newlyweds' by Nell Freudenberger - Book Review
This is a review of The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger.
'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern - Book Review
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a dark and mysterious novel that draws readers into another world.
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - Book Review
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith is a slim book that reads more like a pleasant literary story than a typical page turning mystery.
'Noah's Compass' by Anne Tyler - Book Review
Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler is a novel about Liam Pennywell, a schoolteacher who was forced to retire at 61, but who doesn't really mind because he never felt particularly fulfilled. The first night in his new condominium, though, something happens to him.
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan - Book Review
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan is a slim novel, and the prose is spare. Its ambition is small, too: the main story takes place on just one night. Don’t let this smallness fool you, though. Edward’s and Florence’s entire lives are contained in Ian McEwan’s stunning novel.
'One Day' by David Nicholls - Book Review
One Day by David Nicholls takes on the nature of male-female friendship, love, and career in the post-college years. Set across England in the 1980s and 90s, One Day is a tale of two unlikely friends that is told one day at a time, on the same day each year.
'One Second After' by William Forstchen - Book Review
One Second After is a riveting and chilling tale of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States. It is a thrilling page turner, but is also so much more. The danger it illustrates is so great and so real that leaders in our government are now reading this book. Let's hope they take it seriously.
'The Orphan Master's Son' by Adam Johnson - Book Review
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson is about a man in North Korea.
'The Other Queen' by Philippa Gregory - Book Review
Philippa Gregory is back with another historical fiction novel of the kind that has made her popular. In 'The Other Queen,' Gregory focuses on Mary Queen of Scots.
'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake' by Aimee Bender - Book Review
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender has a unique premise -- the main character can taste the feelings of the person who prepared the food. Read this book review of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender to find out if Bender's novel will appeal to your taste.
'The Painter from Shanghai' by Jennifer Cody Epstein - Book Review
The Painter from Shanghai, from first-time novelist Jennifer Cody Epstein, tells the fictionalized story of Pan Yuliang, a real woman who was one of the most prominent--and controversial--painters of the 20th century.
'People of the Book' by Geraldine Brooks - Book Review
In 'People of the Book,' Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Geraldine Brooks presents a fictional history of the Sarajevo Haggadah -- an important Jewish book that originated in thirteenth century Spain. 'People of the Book' is a set of stories about the book's survival, woven together through the story of a conservationist who is trying to unlock the mysteries of the book in the mid-1990s.
'Pirate Latitudes' by Michael Crichton - Book Review
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton was found as a manuscript among his belongings after his untimely death. It is a pirate yarn in the tradition of Treasure Island.
Pirateology - Book Review
Pirateology is essential reading for all pirate fans, but it should also appeal to those readers who might like to learn more about the piratical life in a fun, engaging way. This beautiful book is the suspenseful narrative of a law-abiding captain hot on the trail of a dangerous female pirate, and it’s also chock full of detailed illustrations and interactive features.
'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' by Seth Grahame-Smith & Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith is the latest of the many retellings of Jane Austen's classic. Much like the original, the Bennett sisters live in the English countryside, which is stirred by the arrival of two wealthy bachelors. Unlike the original, the resulting opinions and relationships formed between the characters is played out against the backdrop of hordes of undead …
'The Reader' by Bernhard Schlink - Book Review
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink is the story of a 15-year-old boy who has an affair with a woman more than twice his age. Years later, he finds out a secret about her.
'The Red House' by Mark Haddon - Book Review
The Red House by Mark Haddon is a literary vacation read.
'Rescue' by Anita Shreve - Book Review
Webster is raising his teenage daughter as a single parent; his wife and the daughter's mother left years ago when she couldn't conquer her alcoholism. Anita Shreve's new novel, Rescue, explores the story of how Webster and his wife met, when he was an EMT and she the victim of a drunk driver -- herself.
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen - Book Review
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen is a novel about two sisters and what happens when the older sister, Meghan, who is the host of the country's highest-rated morning talk show, mutters two forbidden words into her open mike before cutting to a commercial break. There are ramifications for both sisters' lives. Rise and Shine explores the true meaning of success and what matters most.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy - Book Review
Add another to Cormac McCarthy’s growing list of masterpieces. McCarthy’s new novel, The Road, combines Blood Meridian’s terse, poetic meditations on the horrific depths of human depravity with the taut, thriller writing found in his most recent work No Country for Old Men. What separates The Road from his other works is McCarthy’s ability to capture moments of lyrical and emotional beauty in a father and son’s haunted relationship even as a silent cloud of death covers the world in darkness.
'Room' by Emma Donoghue - Book Review
Award-winning author Emma Donoghue's latest book, Room, is a unique and amazing story about a boy's day-to-day experience living in a small, windowless room with his mother. The 11' x 11' space between the walls of the room are actually all the boy knows because he was born there and has never left. Room will horrify, surprise, sadden, and...
'Room of Marvels' by James Bryan Smith - Book Review
Room of Marvels by James Bryan Smith is a small novel that explores life after death. One man gets a glimpse of heaven in the midst of grieving three tragic deaths.
Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson - Book Review
Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson is the final novel in the Dune Chronicles, a series of novels set in an immersive sci-fi universe created by Herbert’s father Frank and often compared to the Lord of the Rings in its scope and depth.
'Seating Arrangements' by Maggie Shipstead - Book Review
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead is a summer debut that heads into deeper waters.
'Secrets of Eden' by Chris Bohjalian - Book Review
Chris Bohjalian is the bestselling author of novels including Midwives, a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and Double Bind. His new novel is called Secrets of Eden and tells the story of a double murder through the narratives of four people close to the victims. It's not a crime novel, though, but instead a finely tuned portrait of how people react to tragedies both sudden and expected.
'The Senator's Wife' by Sue Miller - Book Review
'The Senator's Wife' by Sue Miller is the story of two women -- one at the beginning of her marriage, one in her later years -- who live adjacent to each other. Miller's skilled writing creates a page turning story of their lives.
'The Shack' by William P. Young - Book Review
'The Shack' by William P. Young is a story about a man who spends a weekend with God in a shack where his life was tragically changed years earlier. 'The Shack' examines how a good God can allow suffering.
'Shanghai Girls' by Lisa See - Book Review
In Shanghai Girls, Lisa See once again creates a gripping story with believable characters that lets readers live inside a time and place different from our own. Shanghai Girls takes place in Shanghai and Los Angeles during the early twentieth century and follows Pearl and May, two sisters who flee a privileged life in Shanghai when the Japanese invade the city.
The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry
Dave Barry's Christmas novella, The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog, is a slice of classic Americana. This story of a boy in a Christmas pageant in 1960 can be read in an hour, but it is packed full of nostalgic illustrations, funny stories and the sort of Christmas spirit that is more "A Christmas Story" than "It's a Wonderful Life."
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review
In The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, readers catch a quick glimpse of the Twilight universe through the eyes of a newly created vampire. This short novel begins just days before Bree and her fellow new vampires attack the Cullen family at the end of Eclipse.
'Silver Sparrow' by Tayari Jones - Book Review & Book Club Discussion Questions
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones is about the two daughters of a bigamist in Atlanta in the 1980s. Check out this review and book club questions on Silver Sparrow.
'Sing You Home' by Jodi Picoult - Book Review
Jodi Picoult is known for combining controversial issues, courtroom scenes and family drama. In Sing You Home, she tackles gay marriage and rights.
'Sisterland' by Curtis Sittenfeld - Book Review
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld uses two psychic sisters to tell a story of family dynamics and relationships.
Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman - Book Review
Alice Hoffman is known for her lyrical writing and stories laced with magic. Fans of her previous works will find both in Skylight Confessions, an epic novel that’s steeped in the imagery and magic of fairy tales.
'Songs of Willow Frost' by Jamie Ford
Songs of Willow Frost is Jamie Ford's second novel and once again is historical fiction about a Chinese-American family.
'Solar' by Ian McEwan - Book Review
Ian McEwan is the best selling and critically acclaimed author of novels including Saturday and Atonement. His latest novel, Solar, is a riveting and funny story, completely unusual and as good as anything he has ever written.
'Song Yet Sung' by James McBride - Book Review
Song Yet Sung by James McBride follows an escaped slave in pre-Civil War Maryland.
'South of Broad' by Pat Conroy - Book Review
Pat Conroy, bestselling author of novels including Prince of Tides and Beach Music, has made his fans wait fourteen years for his newest novel. South of Broad is a rambling novel about Charleston, South Carolina and a group of unlikely friends who weather life's storms together.
Splendor of Silence by Indu Sundaresan - Book Review
Splendor of Silence is a lush, poetic and exquisitely crafted novel that should appeal to anyone who loves reading. This story of a young woman and the secretive American soldier she meets in India is romantic and passionate but doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life under British rule. The author, Indu Sundaresan, skillfully weaves romance with historical fiction, making for a satisfying, poignant and highly-recommended read.
'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk' by David Sedaris - Book Review
David Sedaris is the best-selling humor author of brilliant personal essays and memoirs like Me Talk Pretty One Day. His newest book, though, is a collection of short fables about the animal world. Or rather, about an animal world that is much like our human world--cocktail parties, social relationships and inter-species awkwardness abound.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman - Book Review
Neil Gaiman, one of the finest fantasy storytellers of modern times, wrote Stardust to honor the simpler fairy tales and fantasies of times past, where a town was akin to a place magical and a person could wonder without restraint if he or she so choosed.
'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett - Book Review
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett has received a lot of attention. Find out whether this literary novel is really worth reading.
'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' by David Wroblewski - Book Review
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski is a modern day Hamlet and a love story about the connection of a boy, his dogs and the world around him.
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky - Book Review
Suite Francaise is the first two parts of a five part novel by Irene Nemirovsky was writing during the German occupation of France in World War II.
'Super Sad True Love Story' by Gary Shteyngart - Book Review
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart is a satiric look into the near-future of America. Imagine a world where electronic communication has...
'Swamplandia!' by Karen Russell - Book Review
Swamplandia by Karen Russell is a debut novel that takes place in Florida and involves a mystery among an alligator wrestling family.
'Sweet Tooth' by Ian McEwan
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan is a novel about a woman in the British secret service in the 1970s.
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith - Book Review
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith is the second book in the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Fans of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency will be pleased by this sequel, which further develops the story of Precious Ramotswe and her agency. I enjoyed Tears of the Giraffe even more than The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
'Telegraph Avenue' by Michael Chabon
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon is a sweeping novel about a small record store in Oakland and the complicated relationships surrounding it.
The Temple Dancer by John Speed - Book Review
The Temple Dancer: A Novel of India by John Speed is a fun and suspenseful trip through 17th-century India. Speed introduces a smorgasbord of interesting and colorful characters. Readers interested in a historical, adventurous story heavy on romance and intrigue will be pleased with The Temple Dancer.
Terrorist by John Updike - Book Review
Terrorist by John Updike is the story of an 18 year old New Jersey boy who is a devout Muslim and is recruited to be a terrorist. Terrorist is Updike's 22nd novel and takes a critical look at modern social problems.
'Testimony' by Anita Shreve - Book Review
Anita Shreve is a bestselling author known for books like Body Surfing, The Pilot’s Wife, and The Weight of Water. Her latest effort, Testimony, is an introspective look at a private school community blown apart by one scandalous incident.
'That Old Cape Magic' by Richard Russo - Book Review
'That Old Cape Magic.' After 'Empire Falls' and 'Bridge of Sighs', his two greatest works, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author returns for a somewhat substantive summer read to close this 2009 season.
Them by Nathan McCall - Book Review
Them is Nathan McCall's debut novel. In it, McCall explores issues of race and gentrification through the story of Barlowe, a middle aged black man who lives in Atlanta's Fourth Ward. When a white couple moves in next door, Barlowe eventually forms a friendship with the wife while continuing to experience tension over the ways that white people are changing the neighborhood.
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier - Book Review
When Charles Frazier’s second novel Thirteen Moons begins, it captures an old man’s yearning for a tragic love and how the loss of this love has shaped a man. Thirteen Moons is a resoundingly mythic tale, wonderfully told by the aged orphan named Will Cooper, who begins his autobiography reminiscing of life before his life-long love changed everything.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - Book Review
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a rich story about secrets, ghosts, winter, books and family.
'The Tiger's Wife' by Tea Obreht - Book Review
The Tiger's Wife is Tea Obreht's debut novel, and is one of the hot books of 2011. If you're wondering whether to pick up The Tiger's Wife, this book review can help you decide.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a love story about a man who involuntarily travels through time and the woman who loves him from her childhood. Read this review of The Time Traveler's Wife to find out whether it is worth picking up.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee remains as powerful today as when it was first released in 1960. Find out what makes this American classic a must read and why it keeps reappearing on the bestsellers lists.
'To Try Men’s Souls' by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen - Book Review
To Try Men’s Souls by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen is a captivating piece of historical fiction regarding the American Revolution in...
Tomorrow by Graham Swift - Book Review
Tomorrow by Graham Swift takes place on one night, as the female narrator, Paula Hook, anticipates breaking some shocking news to her children on the titular day. The story, though, covers her lifetime and theirs, and the many events—big and small—that led to the present evening.
'The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise' by Julia Stuart - Book Review
'The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise' by Julia Stuart
'The Twelve' by Justin Cronin
The Twelve by Justin Cronin is the second book in a dark trilogy with a new take on vampires.
'Trauma' by Patrick McGrath
Trauma, the latest novel by Patrick McGrath, tells the story of a New York psychiatrist who specializes in helping Vietnam vets suffering from trauma. As he learns more about his own family life, though, he finds himself caught up in his own trauma, and fighting the madness he knows is approaching.
'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review
Twilight is the first in a series of four books by Stephenie Meyer. Although billed as "Young Adult," Twilight appeals to a much broader audience.
'The Valley-Westside War' by Harry Turtledove - Book Review
Like the rest of the Crosstime Traffic Series, The Valley-Westside War concerns travel to a parallel world. Same year, same planet, very different world. The books are largely intended for youth.
'The United States of Atlantis' by Harry Turtledove
The United States of Atlantis is the second in Harry Turtledove's developing Atlantis series. In the series the United States' east coast is a landmass between North America and Europe known as Atlantis. This book centers around the Atlantean settlements (parallel to American colonies) revolting against British rule.
'The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.' by Carole DeSanti - Book Review
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. is a debut novel by Carole DeSanti. Find out how it measures in this review.
The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik - Book Review
The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik, bestselling author of Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, tells the story of Joe Andreson, a high school hockey player who moves to Minneapolis. The novel follows the story of his life through middle age, and traces the impact of his high school years and the friends he made. The View from Mount Joy is a meandering story, but Landvik will keep you reading.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Book Review
The pages of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen burst with rich descriptions and action. You will be drawn into the world of ringmasters, elephants and sideshows. You will also experience the world of nursing homes and old age. You will not want to put Water for Elephants down, and when it is over, you will want more.
What is the What by Dave Eggers - Book Review
What is the What is an astonishing, eye-opening, and heartbreaking book that defies classification. Even if you’re not familiar with the Lost Boys and their struggles to escape from war-torn Sudan, you’ll be drawn into this pseudo-autobiography.
When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton - Book Review
When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton is the story of a Midwest family through the generations narrated by Mac, the son who grew up with Madeline, a sister figure with mental retardation. Madeline was actually Mac's father's first wife who was left with the mental capacities of a 7-year-old after a bike accident.
'When We Were Romans' by Matthew Kneale - Book Review
'When We Were Romans' by Matthew Kneale is a story told from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy who flees England with his mother and sister because his mother is convinced that the boy's father is trying to harm them.
'A Constellation of Vital Phenomena' by Anthony Marra - Book Review
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra is a debut novel about the Russian-Chechen war.
'Where'd You Go Bernadette' by Maria Semple - Book Review
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple is about a teenager whose mother suddenly disappears on the eve of a planned family vacation to Antarctica.
'The White Tiger' by Aravind Adiga - Book Review
The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga’s debut novel, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize and has received much critical acclaim. The White Tiger tells the story of a young entrepreneur in India whose childhood nickname was the white tiger. This novel is an original and compelling story about modern India.
Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy - Book Review
Whitethorn Woods is the latest entry in Maeve Binchy’s lengthy and bestselling career. Whitethorn Woods is essentially a collection of interconnected short stories that take place in a small town in Ireland. By turns sweet and somber, the overall tone of Whitethorn Woods is uplifting, and will please Binchy’s fans looking to revisit her unique depiction of today’s Ireland.
The Wild Things by Dave Eggers - Book Review
Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What and Founder of the lit mag McSweeney's, gives us a monstrously fleshed out version of the classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are.
'Winter of the World' by Ken Follett
Winter of the World by Ken Follett covers World War II from the perspective of characters in five countries. It is the second book in a trilogy.
'Wit's End' by Karen Joy Fowler
'Wit's End' by Karen Joy Fowler is a funny, quick-paced mystery novel about a woman who learns more about her family history by moving in with her godmother, a reclusive mystery writer. Fowler is best known for writing 'The Jane Austen Book Club,' and her new novel is likely to entertain her loyal fans.
'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio - Book Review
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is juvenile fiction that is excellent enough for adults to enjoy as well.
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers - Book Review
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers is a novel about the Iraq war.
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon - Book Revie
Who but Chabon could take readers to a post-World War II where Jews have migrated to Alaska and created a society that is darkly fantastic and devastatingly real – and then make it a fine detective novel with a Jewish Bogart with his own Maltese Falcon in the form of the dead body of a drug-addicted chess player who may just be the Messiah?
'Dead Ever After' by Charlaine Harris - Book Review
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris is the last book in the popular series starring Sookie Stackhouse.
'Maya's Notebook' by Isabel Allende - Book Review
Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende is told by a young girl who moves from the US to an island in Chile.
'Middle C' by William Gass - Book Review
Middle C by William Gass is a literary novel. Find out whether it is a masterpiece.
'Revenge Wears Prada' by Lauren Weisberger - Book Review
Find out if Revenge Wears Prada, the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, is as juicy as the first book.
'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card - Book Review
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is a classic science fiction novel about a child genius who is sent to a military training school to prepare him for a future battle.
'You Lost Me There' by Rosecrans Baldwin - Book Review
You Lost Me There features a reputable neuroscientist, Dr. Victor Aaron, who finds letters from his recently deceased wife, Sara, only to discover her view of their life is not quite how he saw it. As he learns more through note cards his wife left behind for him to find, this lab rat races through the labyrinth of his own mind trying to find...
'When You Reach Me' by Rebecca Stead - Book Review
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a young adult novel that is part mystery, part science fiction, part coming of age story. Read this book review of When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead to see if it is the book for you.