Category Books

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

Daughters of War, set in 1944, follows the story of the Baudin sisters while they live under the Nazi occupation in Southern France. The three sisters are separated from their widowed mother, who now lives in England, before the war, which has made Hélène, the eldest sister, their de facto mother. Hélène, an artist turned […]

Memorial by Bryan Washington

In this slice-of-life novel, Benson, a Black daycare teacher, and Mike, a Japanese American chef working at a Mexican restaurant, are a gay couple living in Houston. They have been together for about four years now, but their relationship, as of late, seems like it’s closing in on its ending. Mike still cooks for Benson […]

Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen 

Olenka, a Ukrainian woman working as a maid in Finland, has formed a habit of visiting a dog park in Helsinki in the evenings for a while now. Each time, she sits on the same bench and keeps watching one family in particular – a well to do Finish couple with a young boy and […]

Murder by the Book: Mysteries For Bibliophiles edited by Martin Edwards

This anthology is a real treat for the classic crime fans among us, but, I have no doubt, it can also be cherished by all bookworms alike! Edited by Martin Edwards, as usual, Murder by the Book features a mix of tales by familiar authors (thanks to British Library Crime Classic reprints) and a few […]

Sally on the Rocks by Winifred Boggs

This fabulous book is my second five-star read this year. Published in 1915, Sally on the Rocks strikes a delightful balance between comedy and social commentary, and I had a ball reading it! The story begins with the arrival of Alfred Bingley, a banker, in the small village of Little Crampton in England. An annual […]

Dear Ann by Bobbie Ann Mason

In this novel, the titular character, Ann is looking to the late sixties with nostalgia and wondering how her life would have turned out if she had made a different choice back then. In 1966, fresh out of college from Kentucky, Ann had decided to attend Harpur College in Upstate New York for her doctoral […]

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom’s books were some of the first I read when I started reading in English roughly a decade ago. While I liked his nonfiction works Have a Little Faith: a True Story and Tuesdays with Morrie (the book he is most known for and one of the top-selling memoirs of all time), I was […]

The Widow of Bath by Margot Bennett

I have mixed feelings about this book! There’s so much going on in the plot – crime classics author Julian Symons had high praise for The Widow of Bath when he wrote, “There are a dozen clever deceptions in this book, twice as many as most writers would have given us.” However, its protagonist Hugh […]

Turbulence by David Szalay

In this novella by the Man Booker-shortlisted novelist, David Szalay, we get a dozen of loosely connected stories about people who are mostly strangers, crisscrossing through the world. In each chapter, its protagonist meets the person who will be central to the next story set in a whole new location, until it comes to a […]

The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura

The Woman in the Purple Skirt, recently translated from Japanese, is one of the more memorable psychological novels I have read in a while. In it, the narrator, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, is always watching the titular Woman in the Purple Skirt. At first, I didn’t see anything unseemingly about this since the […]

Guilty Creatures: A Menagerie of Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards

This is another solid collection by the British Library Crime Classics series – this time featuring stories with animals! The creatures in these stories are sometimes instrumental to the committing of the crime, and on others, they provide evidence to find out the two-legged guilty parties! The anthology begins with a story by Arthur Conan […]

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily R. Austin

This novel reminded me so much of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Quite like Eleanor, Gilda, the protagonist of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead, is an eccentric. Gilda, a recently laid-off twenty-something bookseller, suffers from severe anxiety and is obsessed with death after being traumatized as a child by the passing of […]

Yoga Pant Nation by Laurie Gelman

Yoga Pant Nation, the third book in the Class Mom series (which can be read as a standalone), is a quick read. The story revolves around Jen Dixon, the fifty-four-year-old mom of the ten-year-old Max and two daughters in their thirties. Jen’s life is a juggling act. She is the class mom in Max’s Elementary […]

Something Wild by Hanna Halperin

Dealing with domestic abuse and sexual trauma, Something Wild isn’t an easy read, although I’m glad I did. The story begins with Tanya and Nessa Bloom returning to their childhood home in the Boston suburbs for a weekend to help with their newly unemployed mother Lorraine’s move. Their stepfather, Jesse, has recently inherited a small […]

Her Turn by Katherine Ashenburg

Even though she has been divorced for over a decade, Liz, the protagonist of Her Turn is still angry at Sidney, her ex-husband for his affair that led to their divorce. Sidney has since married Nicole, his mistress, and the couple lives in Seattle now, whereas Liz has moved to Washington DC. Liz has a […]