Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood – Marjane Satrapi

You know what’s lovely? When you get to have a homemade lunch with a friend from way, way back. You know what’s even more lovely? When she gives you a book! With Iran so much in the news these days it really was perfect timing to finally read Persepolis. Satrapi covers the last revolution (1979) …

The Intuitionist – Colson Whitehead

His debut novel! I thought I’d start at the beginning. I still don’t know what I thought of the end or the storyline in general. It’s like a noir but also almost scifi? I really won’t be able to explain, but you will learn a lot about elevators. The writing itself, of course, is wonderful. …

The Wordy Shipmates – Sarah Vowell

When I admitted to not knowing who Sarah Vowell was this summer I stunned a friend of mine so much that she sent me four books (thanks Natalie!). I decided to start with this one about the Puritans. Cause, you know, November and all. Like most of my countryfolk, I blame the Puritans for a …

The Factory Witches of Lowell – C.S. Malerich

I just decided to read all the books I’d been holding onto for a slump because I am in a slump. Or, more like it, I want to read good books, not things I have to struggle through. There’s enough struggling. I wished this book was longer because I loved reading about the union of …

Light Perpetual – Francis Spufford

Another book I’ve been holding onto and dying to read. I decided to just give myself joy and do it. And oh, oh, what a treasure. Five children are killed by the bombing of Woolworth’s in South London during the Blitz. But what if they weren’t? What lives might they have lived? It made me …

Second Place – Rachel Cusk

Cusk always writes odd books, which make them an adventure to read. And by adventure sometimes I mean gives you pause and things to think about and other times I mean adventure in that I’ll choose other things to do instead of reading and then have to force my way back to the book. She …

When Women Were Dragons – Kelly Barnhill

I bought this when it came out in May and have been wanting to read it, and also wanting to save it, since then. I finally decided I deserved a good book after forcing myself through a few. What a fabulous time I had reading it. It’s about women and rage and being yourself and …

Planet of Slums – Mike Davis

Another academic text you can skip if you came here for the fun books. Davis, who just died last month, was an academic renowned for his clear-eyed view on L.A. and how power keeps down the poor. Like a lot of other people whose books I’m sure I would love, I didn’t hear about Davis …

Devil’s Wake – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

Apparently this married couple write a lot of books, and they’re pretty good at it. The books are more YA than I normally read, but I still enjoyed it. Basically: zombies. Teenagers band together to survive. Everyone has a horrible time. But, again, still enjoyed it!

Love Me Back – Merritt Tierce

Remember being in your twenties and waitressing and just going with whatever happened that day, like whatever drug someone was sharing is the one you were doing or whoever asked was who you slept with that day? No? Just me? Except I was a waitress for less than 30 days. Retail was more my speed. …