Buzz-y Books

I know, I KNOW it’s been a while… but I swear I haven’t been neglecting my reading, just my reviewing! So, let’s talk about some of the buzz-y books I’ve been reading lately… you know, the ones that are getting big press or big reviews…


The Mothers by Brit Bennett was everywhere last fall, and with good reason. This novel is set in an African-American community in Southern California and features a sort of “Greek chorus” of church women who observe the relationships of Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey… and the love triangle that inevitably ensues. This is a beautifully written, character-driven novel about the choices we make… and the long-reaching consequences. I really enjoyed this one…

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel is a timely novel, and features a typical family raising their kids… until one of their children, five-year-old Claude, decides that when he grows up, he wants to be a girl. What follows is how the entire family navigates Claude’s transition, how to cope with things like schools and sleepovers, and what it means to be family. I got a big bogged down in parts – I think it could have used some editing – but overall, I really learned a lot from this novel.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay is just that… a collection of fictional short stories in varying lengths about… difficult women. Old, young, thin, big, lesbian, straight… all women are represented in this collection of wide-ranging tales, from the funny to the tragic. Gay is just SUCH a master of prose and storytelling. It won’t be my last Gay reading…

The Dry by Jane Harper was one of *those* suspense novels, the one everyone was talking about. Set in Australia during a dry spell, a family is all dead, and no one knows for sure the whys or hows… and special agent Falk has been summoned to the funeral with a note that basically says… you liked, Luke lied, come to the funeral. This is fast-paced, sharp, and smart! Easily to devour!

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey is hard to categorize, but I LOVED it. Basically, what would it be like if The Martian (the book/movie) was reality, and we were ready to send a crew there in the near future? They would need to be chosen then prepare, right? This entire novel takes place BEFORE the trip to Mars, as the crew – and their families – prepare for their journey. This is just a well-written, alternating-points-of-view, character-driven novel about who we are, where we’re going, and what it means to those left behind. I so dug this.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh was her follow-up to the absolutely fantastic I Let You Go, and is another fast-paced, red herring, whodunit suspense novel about women who are being targeted in ads in a London newspaper. I liked the twists of I Let You Go better, but this was another smart, sharp, fast suspense novel. Recommended!

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