All Together Now by Gill Hornby

All Together Now by Gill HornbyGill Hornby has a new novel out! Hooray! Her debut novel, The Hive (review), became one of the books I most frequently recommended and gave to friends. It perfectly encapsulated the microcosm of mothers of school-aged children. It was something my friends and I could relate to. Continue reading

The River’s Song by Suchen Christine Lim

The River's Song by Suchen Christine LimSuchen Christine Lim is one of those great writers who I had never heard of simply because she is what the publishing industry considers to be ‘the other’ – a woman and a visible minority from some place else. Sigh. However, the awards and accolades that accompany her name (Fulbright, Iowa Writers’ Program, Arvon Foundation) made me look at her latest book, The River’s Song, a little more closely. Continue reading

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

goon-squadWhy didn’t I listen when everyone was telling me to read A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan? It won scads of awards when it come out in 2010, it was on everyone’s radar, and yet I resisted. Why do i do that sometimes?

Well, I thought Good Squad was about music and the entertainment industry. I thought it was about a band called The Goon Squad. I thought it was set in L.A. All these assumptions were, at least partially, incorrect. Continue reading

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

Half-Blood-BluesYes, it has taken me a long time to get to Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan. Sometimes too much hype about a book can keep me away. Edugyan emerged out of nowhere in 2011 and became the It girl of Canadian fiction in 2012. There is scarcely a prize for which she wasn’t nominated. This was topped of in 2014 with Canada Reads. Continue reading

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

shotgun-lovesongsJust between you and me, I think that Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler is going to be a big book this spring. Everyone I know is reading it and loving it. Butler has the kind of credentials that make a great writer (read: Iowa Writer’s Workshop). And that may be why it is so hard for me to come out and say that I didn’t really like it.

Shotgun Lovesongs is about a group of aging male friends. All have found varying degrees of success in their lives and careers. Hank is a happily married struggling farmer. Lee is a rock star who prefers life in his rural community. Ronny has found love in the most unlikely of places and Kip is struggling. Put this all together and you have the kind of book i normally really like. Continue reading