Book Review: Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya

Not Your Typical Immigration Saga This is not your typical immigration saga. Stories of families relocating to another country, dealing with cultural displacement, and (hopefully) making a go of it have become increasingly commonplace. Yelena Akhtiorskaya would like to turn those conventions on their head. To be fair, she succeeds at that goal quite well–and … More Book Review: Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya

Book Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt

“You can build a whole world around the tiniest of touches.” I’m just going to say it straight out: this book kinda creeped me out. And not in a good way. The year is 1987. June Elbus is one of those quirky, misunderstood teens in the Royal Tenenbaums, Harold and Maude mold. None of her … More Book Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

“I suspect that the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.” Hype can be a cruel demon. For an author, it sets an expectation that can be extremely difficult to live up to. For a reader, more often than not it only leads … More Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

Book Review: Truth in Advertising, by John Kenney

“In reality I was playing a part, doing what I imagined I was supposed to do.” Finbar Dolan is having a breakdown. He’s had a mildly successful career at an advertising agency in New York (read: he’s successfully been rewarded for doing the minimal amount of work). His engagement went bust, leaving him with two … More Book Review: Truth in Advertising, by John Kenney

Book Review: The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout

“Nobody ever knows anyone.” Jim and Bob Burgess couldn’t be more different. Bob is sensitive, not very confident, casually self destructive, and dangerously toying with alcoholism. Jim is a brash high-powered attorney with a fancy townhouse in a trendy part of Brooklyn. He’s also a huge jerk, but people are very forgiving of this quality … More Book Review: The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout

Book Review: The Newlyweds, by Nell Freudenberger

“It was possible to change your own destiny, but you had to be vigilant and you could never look back.” In this novel, billed as an examination of the complexities of modern love and marriage, Amina Mazid, a Bangladeshi woman, moves to Rochester, NY to get married to George Stillman, the American businessman she met … More Book Review: The Newlyweds, by Nell Freudenberger

Book Review: Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

“To be a subject is an act of aggression.” Well this hurts. I wanted to love this book so much. I adore Alison Bechdel. She’s incredibly smart, witty, analytical, and heartbreakingly honest–all qualities that have made Fun Home, her first foray into graphic memoir, a modern classic. It’s one of my favorite books, not to … More Book Review: Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

Book Review: The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt

“Our blood is the same, we just use it differently.” The Sisters Brothers reads like a rampage. It’s compulsively readable in the way the best potboilers are; I tore through it in no time at all. It tells the story of Eli and Charlie Sisters, two vicious gunslingers known for their effectiveness and ruthlessness. But … More Book Review: The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt

Book Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

“I did all I could and it still wasn’t enough.” “You really want to know what being an X-Man feels like? Just be a smart bookish boy of color in a contemporary U.S. ghetto. Mamma mia! Like having bat wings or a pair of tentacles growing out of your chest.” Meet Oscar de León. Once … More Book Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz