For Once in My Life, Marianne Kavanagh
Tess and George are soul mates – but they’ve never met. As their friends try to set them up and life pulls them in different directions, they both wonder if they’ll ever find true love. Fun concept, so-so execution. An accurate but depressing portrait of feeling aimless in your 20s.
The Great Greene Heist, Varian Johnson
This book became an emblem of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. But it’s also a fun, fast-paced heist story featuring an entertaining cast of middle schoolers. Reminded me of Ally Carter’s Heist Society series, or Ocean’s 11 for teens.
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure is a blind Parisian girl living with her father, the keeper of the keys at the Natural History Museum. Werner Pfennig is a private in Hitler’s Wehrmacht, obsessed with (and good at fixing) radios. Told in alternating short chapters of stunning prose, this novel traces Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s stories until they intersect in August 1944, in the walled French city of Saint-Malo. Gorgeous, heartbreaking, full of tension and small moments of hope.
Mambo in Chinatown, Jean Kwok
I loved Kwok’s Girl in Translation and loved her second novel even more. Charlie Wong struggles to care for her younger sister while keeping her new job at a dance studio a secret from their strict father. A beautiful novel about family, tough choices, being caught between cultures, and becoming someone you never thought you could be. Gorgeous and highly recommended.
Saving Lucas Biggs, Marisa de los Santos & David Teague
I love de los Santos’ adult fiction. This middle-grade time-travel novel (co-written by de los Santos and her husband) follows the fortunes of a small Arizona mining town. Margaret O’Malley travels back to 1938, attempting to change the life of the judge who has sentenced her father to death. A sweet, thoughtful and moving story.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
I’m not a runner, but I’ve been curious about this book for years. The parts about writing (and running in Cambridge) were far more interesting to me than the running chronology.
Mrs. Pollifax Pursued, Dorothy Gilman
After finding a teenage girl hiding in her storage closet, Mrs. Pollifax calls in her CIA connection to go undercover – to a traveling carnival. A slightly wacky plotline even for this series, but as always, Mrs. P saves the day.
Links (not affiliate links) are to my favorite local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.
What are you reading?