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River Marked

Six books in, Patricia Briggs proves she’s still got the touch, and introduces some new magic to the series as well in the form of Native American lore


The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel

The Best of All Possible Worlds is an intelligent, slow-burning, love story with rewards along the way.


When the Devil Doesn't Show

Barber does an excellent job of portraying the horror, fear, and helplessness the detectives feel as they delve further and further into the case.


Days That I'll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

This slim, attractively produced book might make a good stocking-stuffer for a Lennon fanatic who isn’t interested in learning anything new about the great man.


The Interestings: A Novel

She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women's fiction. It's everyone's.


The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel

Things happen and while the main storyline goes where we kind of see pretty early it will go, the book is a real delight to read.


Eleanor & Park

Rainbow Rowell writes a love story for the misfits, a story about the imperfect guys and gals, the kind who loved Star Trek and The Smiths, the type who weren’t blonde, thin, and perky but who loved just as hard and fast.


The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences

A generally persuasive, impassioned book-length essay. While his conclusions (and language) sometimes grow repetitive, they nonetheless serve to underscore at every turn an incisive argument buttressed by millennia of evidence.


How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel

In this energetic, thoroughly engaging novel, Mohsin Hamid has created a memorable portrait of life in the 'change-scented urban archipelago spanning not just rising Asia but the entire planet.' In that sense, the 'you' of the novel serves as an exemplar of the rewards and perils of upward mobility in every country and in every age.


Candlemoth: A Thriller

This masterfully written 'time capsule' examines through 'Hindsight, our cruelest and most astute adviser' political and social issues that, for good or bad, define American culture today. It made me question all I learned growing up in the South in the ’50s and ’60s.


All You Could Ask For

Mike Greenberg has written a dynamite debut novel avoiding many of the mistakes that new authors make, especially the common misstep that doubles the number of pages required to tell the story. ALL YOU COULD ASK FOR is a fast read that will make you wish there was more.


Love Water Memory

The irresistible mystery at the heart of the tale and the true-to-life emotions of the two main characters lend an urgency that pulls us onward, making for a very enjoyable read.


Amity & Sorrow: A Novel

Amity & Sorrow is short on answers and long on atmosphere, whereas most allegories have the opposite tendency.


Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me

With its vivid cover and lush illustrations, Shocked is a physically beautiful book, but like Schiaparelli's designs, it commands deeper attention because of the wit and originality that inspire its composition.


Harvard Square: A Novel

This friendship of opposites is entertaining enough, but “Harvard Square” is more interesting in its exploration of what it means to be an outsider.


Harvard Square: A Novel

It’s an old story for Americans, but worth telling again when it’s told this well: Every act of immigration is also an act of betrayal.


If You Find Me

If You Find Me is a powerful read that I have absolutely no qualms recommending. It is (at times) rather emotionally draining, but the unparalleled beauty and feeling in its pages make it wholeheartedly worth it.


What Would Grace Do?: How to Live Life in Style Like the Princess of Hollywood

Readers eager to learn more about Grace Kelly would be better served by reading Donald Spoto's High Society (2009) or Wendy Leigh's True Grace (2007), both of which are quoted at length here. Readers who wish to be more like Kelly would be better off watching her films.


Murder on Olympus

In his debut novel, Warren's prose is appropriately cheeky. But his many clever conventions and inventions consistently overshadow the awkwardly structured plot. Here's hoping he can improve on his puzzles while Plato and his quirkily mashed-up world continue to delight us.