Nuclear Family by Susanna Fogel

It’s nearing the end of the year, and I’ve only read 83 books, so I’m looking for slim volumes that I can read in one sitting and thoroughly enjoy to try to up my count to 90. Nuclear Family by Susanna Fogel certainly fits the bill. As the subtitle reveals, it is a ‘Tragicomic Novel in Letters’ and that’s about all I needed to hear.  Continue reading

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The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

My experience of reading The Animators was a very odd one. I simultanesouly didn’t like and couldn’t put it down. How does that even happen? Continue reading

Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend

Enchanted Islands by Allison AmendEnchanted Islands by Allison Amend has been on my TBR list for a couple of month, but it’s inclusion in the Tournament of Books longlist for 2017 pushed me into reading it now. (As an aside, I’ve only read 13 of the 120 books on the longlist this year. Eek! How about you?) Continue reading

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

Holy-doodle, if The Most Dangerous Place on Earth isn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is. Set in an affluent community in sunny California, this novel explores the facades of teen life on social media and the truth that lies behind those facades, and that is what makes it so compelling and horrifying. Continue reading

Thirty Girls by Susan Minot

Thirty GirlsWe all know that 2016 has been one hell of a year, and  reading Thirty Girls by Susan Minot will do nothing to make you feel better about it. As the title suggests, Thirty Girls is about a group of girls abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army from their boarding school in Uganda. Not happy or uplifting stuff. Continue reading

Nicotine by Nell Zink

Image result for nicotine nell zinkLast year Nell Zink blew my mind with Mislaid (review), and now she’s back with Nicotine. Just to be clear, I did prefer Mislaid, but Nicotine has that same Nell Zink WTF-ness that turns all your assumptions upside down. Continue reading

The Nix by Nathan Hill

Image result for the nix nathan hillYou are going to see The Nix by Nathan Hill on a lot of Best of 2016 lists, and I’m not surprised to find it there at all. The Nix, if nothing else, is prescient. It is the perfect novel for 2016 – politicians behaving badly, American in economic, political and, dare i say, psychological despair. You get my drift. It is the perfect novel for this moment, in spite of the fact that much of it takes place in the 60s. It is an important novel in the way it shows how history repeats itself, and more impressive because all of this was written before Trump swept the nation. Continue reading