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Levels of Life

A quirky but ultimately powerful meditation on things that uplift us — literally, as in hot air balloons, and emotionally, as in love — and things that bring us crashing to earth: to wit, that great leveler, the death of a loved one.


Like Dreamers

The story’s most significant sections help us grasp how the settlers have driven the nation’s agenda for the past four decades.


The Panopticon: A Novel

Through her anti-hero, Ms. Fagan manages to shed light on these children and condemn the social system designed to help them in this stark, thought-provoking novel.


The Girl You Left Behind

In spite of the superficial weaknesses of the entire story, The Girl You Left Behind is a compelling exploration of love and the depths to which people will descend to protect that love.


Tampa

Tampa is like the proverbial train wreck. It does not bear watching and yet one’s eyes remain glued to the carnage like a junkie waiting for his next fix.


Night Film: A Novel

It is a novel that attracts and repels in equal measure but will continue to haunt readers no matter on what one ultimately believes about the story.


More Than This

No longer a coming-of-age story, it is a philosophical treat buried under suspense and action that allows for greater crossover appeal, making More Than This a story which truly will be a unique experience for every reader and upon every re-read.


The Burgess Boys: A Novel

Unfortunately, The Burgess Boys fails to impress with its story of family disharmony and personal growth.


My Notorious Life: A Novel

My Notorious Life is a fascinating glimpse at how desperate things used to be for women and also inspiring for the fight that continues.


The Maid's Version: A Novel

The entire story is a disappointing example of the cliché about biting off more than one can chew, as the rushed ending and convenient plot twists indicate a novel that should have been longer than it was and a story that was meant to be more involved than its pages would allow.


Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel

Someday, Someday, Maybe remains entertaining at the surface level, while the insights it provides on the entertainment industry is priceless.


Burial Rites: A Novel

Burial Rites is a haunting glimpse into an obscure historical event and remote geographical region.


The Lowland

Although the dramatic political change that happens in the background of the story provides a bit of a hook, Lahiri doesn’t delve into it, so the most interesting part of The Lowland remains frustratingly vague.


Doctor Sleep: A Novel

It’s strange how much it feels like Hill’s latest, but even stranger how rushed and immaterial it all seems, when King had 36 years to ponder his next move in this story.


The Lowland

If parts of “The Lowland” feel static, it’s also true that Lahiri can accelerate the passage of time in moments of terror with mesmerizing effect.


Christmas Carol Murder

Cozy mysteries are my favorite way to get into the holidays and the Lucy Stone series has numerous holiday related titles in addition to this latest installment.


The Unconsoled

This is The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro, one of his least-regarded novels, but to me his best and one of the best books ever written.


The Lowland

Lahiri is an accomplished writer and though I felt, at times, disappointed, in the end I was sure that there is an important truth here — that life often denies us understanding, and sometimes all there is to hold on to is our ability to endure.


Doctor Sleep: A Novel

The book is best at depicting how even the most damaged people can rebuild their lives, as long as they are willing to put in the work - a theme that gives the novel an autobiographical air.


Wonder Women

Though she argues that women would be better off settling for good enough, a concept that the economist Herbert A. Simon called satisficing, it would have been interesting to hear more from her on the paradox of choice and why the expanded buffet of options has not necessarily made women happier.