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It’s superior storytelling. Call it the summer’s darkest, most delicious guilty pleasure.

Gold: A Novel

“Gold,” [...] has its share of dross. But, just as with those old Warner Bros. melodramas, the unabashed energy behind the enterprise can transform your skepticism into a grudging respect and enjoyment.

The Uncoupling: A Novel

Unthinkable. And yet, as of now, universal. And weird. But compelling.

Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris

You won’t read many better true crime books.

The Age of Miracles

The problem is that while a coming-of-age novel might be forgiven for drifting to a stop without much in the way of resolution, a reader expects something more conclusive when science fiction is involved.

Take it Like a Mom

You have a roller-coaster ride of fun, action and drama.


It’s unquestionably a bumpy ride, but one worth hanging on for.

Last Summer

Aside from the harsh realities of bullying, it had a nice coming of age feel. Ms. Chamberlin's use of detail made me feel like I was at the beach or shopping downtown with the girls.

Something Like Normal

It’s one of the best YA I’ve read this year and I think anyone can read it regardless of the genre.

My Life Next Door

I think the book was lacking in focus and perhaps too long. I really enjoyed the romance, the Garrets and Ms. Fitzpatrick’s voice. My Life Next Door is an awkward story with a lot of potential that unfortunately didn't work for me.

The Orphanmaster: A Novel of Early Manhattan

Overall The Orphanmaster is worth a read for the good parts, but the novel could have been so much more with a different balance.


Ford’s genius at capturing human frailty and its pitiful disguises burns through this novel.

Kingdom of Strangers: A Novel

There's something here for everyone: a thrilling mystery; exposure to a country typically shrouded under a veil from the Western gaze; not one but two conflicted love stories. But it's the characters who drive this remarkable book, products of their foreign culture, but deeply familiar in their humanity.


There's no fuss in Ohlin's pointed prose, but plenty of insight. She conjures up the diving board, all-or-nothing desperation of going to bed with someone for the first time with the straightforward declaration that "some things were too intense to do slowly."

Equal of the Sun: A Novel

"Equal of the Sun" is a fine historical novel filled with period details - fashion, art, architecture, poetry, cuisine, customs - subtly woven through a story of intrigue and action.

Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution

Hirshman's snappy prose may be the very thing that makes "Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution" a good starting point for learning about recent gay history. But the cost is a trivializing of a far more complicated past.

Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner

When sharing the deep knowledge she's amassed about central Oregon and its wildlife, her writing is evocative and inspiring, and it will encourage all manner of nature lovers to forge a deeper connection to their surroundings.

Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption

As Mullane shows through her immersion reporting into the lives of five murderers - before they killed, while imprisoned and after their parole - nothing is simple.

The Age of Miracles

Walker is a lovely writer with an unerring ear for hypnotic cadence, and her lilting sentences rock the story gently forward; but the narrator's unruffled equilibrium and knee-jerk nostalgia sometimes account for a bland daze.