Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield

I love a good tale, and this was a good tale. Captivating from front to back; so much so that I read the acknowledgements and everything after just hoping to continue tasting this tale. We’re on a river that could be the Thames and the river wraps itself through the lives of our many characters …

Our Wives Under the Sea – Julia Armfield

A much anticipated new novel. So anticipated I didn’t register the creeping horror of it. Or maybe it wasn’t on the book jacket. It’s really a story of loss: loss of the relationships we want or need, the people we thought would be there forever, and all the things they left behind that make us …

Golden State – Ben H. Winters

It’s a detective story, but set in a California that prizes truth above all else and the detective can see the air bend when people lie. Nothing is private, even your pain, and secrets turn the whole world upside down. A big-brothery excursion into a future I definitely do not want any part of.

Hell of a Book – Jason Mott

Really, the title says it all. I can’t tell you what this book is about because nothing covers it. It’s just a hell of a book. A ride. A masterpiece of what it must be like to be a Black author, to be a Black man, to be a Black boy, in America. It’s funny, …

The Owl Service – Alan Garner

A book from 1967 using Welsh myth to create a modern day mystery? Sign me up! I loved being in the Welsh lands for this novel, thinking about the slate and the sheep and the beautiful vistas. It’s such a magical place. And this is a magical novel. Filled with plates whose pattern turns into …

The Displacements – Bruce Holsinger

Another dystopian novel? Yes, please! I love this shit. It soothes my anxiety because anxiety tells you to prepare for every contingency. Also this book gives me more reasons to hate Florida, and you can never have too many. The world’s first category 6 hurricane barrels over southern Florida displacing millions of people into camps …

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches – Sangu Mandanna

OK, we all know I think I’m too good for romance, but I really liked this book. It made me cry. Also there’s a pretty hot sex scene. Overall, it’s a sweet tale about belonging and finding your chosen family and being who you are without fear. And giving in to love even though you’ve …

The Mother – Maxim Gorky

A sweeping tale of revolution and peasantry in early 1900s Russia. The mother of a budding revolutionary deals with the fear of the unknown and realizes, through aiding the revolution, that her old life of subservience and subsistence is the one she really has to fear. This new translation by Hugh Aplin makes reading old, …

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed – Mariana Enriquez

So I read two books in a row where I was thinking, what the fuck just happened here? I should have waited after the trufflepig adventure. This one is short stories set in Argentina. They’re almost like fables but in a recognizable reality where being a girl or a woman is just so damn weighted …

Intimacies – Katie Kitamura

This is one of those books I thought I wanted to pick up, talked myself out of, and then picked up the next time I saw it. I’m glad I did. Our heroine is a translator at The Hague who has fallen in love with a possibly unavailable man, and whose one or two friends …