THE BATHING WOMEN – Tie Ning

Tie Ning’s The Bathing Women (2000, 2012 – English translation by Hongling Zhang and Jason Sommer) was an unexpected read.  The translation received mixed reviews, and I initially found it a bit “off” – but I realized it wasn’t the translation so much as the style of storytelling.  It was a bit frustrating, especially earlyContinue reading “THE BATHING WOMEN – Tie Ning”

THE STATIONERY SHOP – Marjan Kamali

Marjan Kamali’s The Stationery Shop (Gallery Books 2019) is a heartbreaking novel of first love and lost love – a novel of how fate is a fickle mistress. The novel opens in 2013 in New England.  Roya is an old woman, “nearly American,” who first left Iran over fifty years ago.  Walter, her steadfast andContinue reading “THE STATIONERY SHOP – Marjan Kamali”

KLARA AND THE SUN – Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro may be the odds-on favorite for the 2021 Booker Prize, and understandably so.   Not only is he a previous winner (Remains of the Day 1989), he is arguably one of the most heralded contemporary English authors.  I don’t think anyone was surprised to see Klara and the Sun (Knopf 2021) make an appearanceContinue reading “KLARA AND THE SUN – Kazuo Ishiguro”

THE PROMISE – Damon Galgut

Hailed as “in every way equal to J.M. Coetzee” by Rian Malan, Damon Galgut is an author I was thrilled to see on the Booker longlist.  Shortlisted twice, Galgut’s work is a proven favorite among the Booker judges, and The Promise (Europa Editions 2021) very well could win it for him.  In the spirit ofContinue reading “THE PROMISE – Damon Galgut”

LIGHT PERPETUAL – Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual (Scribner 2021) just oozes traditional Booker Prize type, so I’m not surprised it was longlisted. The novel opens in 1944 at the Woolworths in South London.  The store is packed full of patrons because there are new cookpots available, something that war-torn England hasn’t seen in a long time.   A rocketContinue reading “LIGHT PERPETUAL – Francis Spufford”

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS – Patricia Lockwood

Can we talk about Patricia Lockwood’s No One is Talking About This (Riverhead Books 2021), because we all need to be. Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, this is Lockwood’s first work of fiction and one of the best books I’ve read this year. The narrator is a social media influencer who travels the worldContinue reading “NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS – Patricia Lockwood”

SECOND PLACE – Rachel Cusk

In January, I resolved to read the 2021 Booker Prize longlist.  The list was released last week, and I immediately put in my requests at the local library.  (That was another resolution – to use the library more.) Three of the books haven’t been released in the US yet or have limited distribution, which isContinue reading “SECOND PLACE – Rachel Cusk”

THE DIRTY BOOK CLUB – Lisi Harrison

Lisi Harrison’s The Dirty Book Club (Gallery Books, 2017) is what happens when the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants grows up and pants become erotic novels.  Embracing the bonds between women, The Dirty Book Club begins in 1962 when a group of friends start their own secret club, the aptly named Dirty Book Club.  TheContinue reading “THE DIRTY BOOK CLUB – Lisi Harrison”

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND – Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo’s novel in verse, Clap When You Land (Harper Teen 2020), sings with beauty, love, loss, and family. Told in alternating views, the novel follows two teenagers whose father is killed in plane crash – neither knowing of the other’s existence.  But when the plane goes down and they must accept that their belovedContinue reading “CLAP WHEN YOU LAND – Elizabeth Acevedo”

BLACK SUN – Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun (SAGA PRESS 2020) was one of last year’s hotly anticipated releases, and I can see why.  Inspired by various pre-Columbus American cultures, this epic fantasy is full strong female characters, magic, politics, and prophecies.  It is the first of the Between Earth and Sky series, and Fevered Star is slated forContinue reading “BLACK SUN – Rebecca Roanhorse”