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Sleeping on Jupiter

The world she creates is ambitiously imagined, her characters possessed of an inner verity.


Carousel Court: A Novel

The California fires cool, and so do the pages. Characters slow down, reflect and gradually reveal new depth as they struggle toward an ending full of resilience and — dare they imagine — hope.


Liberty Street: A Novel

Warren’s crisp, evocative and controlled prose allows the highly charged emotions of her characters space to breathe.


The Nix: A novel

This is a book to get one excited not only about Hill and his future as a novelist, but also about the power of writing to blot out background-noise banality and vault us forward into the new and wondrous.


Commonwealth

With “Commonwealth,” Patchett covers so much ground and throws in so many engrossing details about Franny, Albie et al, that it’s quite enjoyable just to kick up your feet and go along for the ride.


A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

Lovely ruminations on the tragicomedies of human endeavor, politics, love, ethics, and art enrich “A Gentleman in Moscow,” as do many terrific riffs about the operatic nature of Russian character (and inextricably, the course of its history).


Shelter in Place: A Novel

Maksik’s writing has the strange, dangerous gleam of madness, as Joe pivots from normality to mental illness, a state of “thick tar inching through my body” along with “a blue-black bird, its talons piercing my lungs.”


I Am No One: A Novel

Whether we share the protagonist’s growing alarm about the erosion of Internet privacy or not, by planting us so firmly inside O’Keefe’s exacting deliberations, the novel ensnares us in its noir-like web of anxiety.


Sleeping on Jupiter

Sleeping on Jupiter is not just an important read, but an essential one.


Harmony

“Harmony” is an intriguing book, although I’m not sure it’s my kind of book: the sentences lack the architectural ingenuity that feeds my reading habit, and the adult characters, while full of angst, lack singularity.


Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

“Behold the Dreamers” is a capacious, big-hearted novel.


I Will Send Rain

I Will Send Rain is a surprisingly poetic and honest portrayal of family dynamics and human emotions set against one of the most trying times the country has ever faced.


Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

“Behold the Dreamers” suffers from a dearth of action, the Wall Street crash qualifying as the only exception, albeit one relegated to the background. Mbue partially compensates for this deficit by injecting the story with generous doses of suspense.


The Veins of the Ocean: A Novel

“The Veins of the Ocean” is its own willing plunge into deeper, darker realms.


Pond

“Pond” makes the case for Bennett as an innovative writer of real talent.


How to Set a Fire and Why: A Novel

It may be Ball’s deliberate strategy to make us watch his story drift away into a fog of vague language, but it also fails to bring out what is most memorable about one of his most vivid and engaging characters, Lucia Stanton.


Miss Jane: A Novel

The complexity and drama of Watson’s gorgeous work here is life’s as well: Sometimes physical realities expand us, sometimes trap; sometimes heroism lies in combating our helplessness, sometimes in accepting it.


Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt

El Rashidi offers a sharply perceptive and judiciously accurate portrait of Egypt’s complex culture.


Heroes of the Frontier

In the abrupt end, Eggers stops us short, giving us a shaggy dog story that starts to give you its paw and then seems to think the better of it.