The Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

Synopsis: A beautifully written meditation on eating simply and well. Review: Oh, how I loved The Everlasting Meal! I will be referring to this book for countless years to come. Tamar Adler is a protege of Alice Waters an believes in eating locally and seasonally, a philosophy I very much agree with. She’s also a proponent of using everything, eating meat that has lived well, and that anything, no matter how humble, can make a delicious and nourishing meal. Her chapters touch on simple things…

Read More »

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Synopsis: A semiotics-enthralled English major falls for a manic depressive scientific researcher, while being loved unrequitedly by a religious studies major for whom Mother Teresa is his last hope in a fruitless quest to find faith. Review: The best thing about The Marriage Plot is that it’s a fantastic story with characters that I connected with on a very deep level. Jeffrey Eugenides’s other two novels were good but didn’t fire up my emotions the way that this one did. Now that I’ve gotten that…

Read More »

World Without End by Ken Follett

Synopsis: The intertwined lives of the inhabitants of the Kingsbridge priory and town, through the stories of four children who become keepers of a terrible secret. Review: I almost gave up on World Without End about halfway through. Ken Follett’s plotting is so mathematical that I felt like I could predict how all the story lines would resolve themselves. I am glad that a friend encouraged me to stick with it, because even though everything did tie itself up pretty neatly, I did find a…

Read More »

The Adults by Alison Espach

Synopsis: After witnessing an awful tragedy, a young woman becomes obsessed with a teacher at her school and never quite gets her life where she thinks it needs to be. Review: Listen, you don’t pick up a book like The Adults because of the plot synopsis. You pick it up because you’re hoping that the author has figured out a new way to say old things. And in the case of Alison Espach, you would be absolutely correct. The title is a deliberately misleading one.…

Read More »

The Luxe by Anna Godberson

Synopsis: The death of a society girl in 1899 New York City isn’t quite what it seems, thanks to an impossibly complex snarl of love triangles. Review: I guess you would call The Luxe “Gossip Girl” set in Edith Wharton territory, but that makes it sound dreadful when in fact it’s pretty enjoyable. I don’t think I’ll continue on in the series but it was a fun read. Share on Facebook

Read More »

Arena by Karen Hancock

Synopsis: After signing up for a psychology experiment, a young woman finds herself in a dangerous “arena” where she may lose her life trying to find her way out. Review: Arena is an allegory for the Christian walk of faith, something I knew when I bought the book but then forgot until about halfway through. I think that’s a pretty good sign that the book mostly escapes being on-the-nose and heavy handed in its plot execution and character development. Callie is an ordinary girl who…

Read More »

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Synopsis: When the eccentric creator of the virtual reality world that has become more real than the real world dies without an heir, the nerds of the world race to discover a hidden easter egg that will unlock his fortune. Review: So. Fun. Ready Player One was an absolute treat of a book–compulsively readable and fabulously geeky. The hero is Wade, known in the virtual world called OASIS as “Parzival,” a high school student who has dedicated his whole life to hunting for the hidden…

Read More »

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer

Synopsis: When the new drama teacher chooses “Lysistrata” for the school play, the women of the town find themselves suddenly and completely uninterested in sex. Review: The Uncoupling was a quick read, but not a very satisfying one. The premise was too gimmicky and the insights into love and romance felt perfunctory. I couldn’t really relate to the characters, who felt generically suburban as opposed to individually human. Share on Facebook

Read More »

The Ale Boy’s Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet (The Auralia Thread, Book 4)

Synopsis: The breathtaking conclusion to The Auralia Thread. Review: Magnificent. To say much more about The Ale Boy’s Feast would involve an ungraceful unstitching of the intricate world and story Jeffrey Overstreet has created in the series begun in Auralia’s Colors. If you want to read a fantasy series that will expand your mind, challenge your perceptions, awaken your emotions, and make you ache for all that is possible, then please, get started on this series right away. I can’t wait to share these with…

Read More »