The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe

The Gilded YearsThe premise of The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe immediately grabbed my attention. Set at Vassar at the end of the 19th century, it tells the story of Anita Hemmings the first black women to graduate from the gilded institution. While at Vasser, she passed as white until … well, you know. It is wonderfully researched and I loved the afterword that tells you what parts are made up and what is true. Continue reading

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Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte

PRIVATE CITIZENS: A NovelI can tell you right now that Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte is going to be on my Best of 2016 list. I loved it. Tulathimutte could have so easily taken a great idea and made several missteps, but he doesn’t. The tone is perfect. The language is spot on. It’s brilliant. Continue reading

Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman

Bradstreet Gate by Robin KirmanI don’t know whether it’s the rubbish weather we’ve been having or celebration at the end of term, but I tore through Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman in less than 24 hours. To start, the story was right in my wheelhouse: beloved ┬áHarvard professor under suspicion for murdering a student. Second, comparisons to Tartt, Eugenides and Wolitzer sealed the deal (and fell short, but that is beside the point), and finally, conjecture that the story was based on actual occurrences at Yale. All that spells great summer (or rainy day) read. Continue reading

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

dear-committe-members-ukIf you haven’t noticed by now, you should know that I am a sucker for novels set in academia. I loved the campus novel when I was in grad school and I love it even more now, especially if it is a novel about disillusionment in the academy. Cue Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. This book is laugh out loud funny. It took Herculean feats of strength for me not to read every second sentence out loud to my husband. Continue reading

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

virginVirgin by Radhika Sanghani will not be to everyone’s tastes, but I thought it was a very funny and quick read. The book is dedicated “To Anyone who has ever gone through the pain of a Brazilian wax”. If that is funny to you, then you’ll like Virgin. If you think that is the kind of things that should not be discussed in public, then give this a pass. Continue reading

The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag

hope-streetThe House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag is a slightly more whimsical and magical book than I normally go for. It is set in a magical house in Cambridge where notable women for generations have sought refuge. Here they have 99 nights to turn their lives around, find their path and listen to the advice magically offered by previous residents including Virginia Woolfe, Emmeline Pankhurst and Florence Nightingale. Continue reading

Bad Teeth by Dustin Long

Bad-teethWhen I saw Bad Teeth by Dustin Long I thought, this is the book for me. It ticks all of my boxes: academic satire- check, Tibet writer who may be a plagiarist – interest peaked, add in a touch of a love story – oh yeah. And did I mention that it has footnotes? I love me a footnote! Continue reading