Bookshelf

Thumbnail artwork by Catrin Welz-Stein, Sophie Backall, Christian Schloe, Jin Xingye

ANIL’S GHOST by Michael Ondaatje

ANIL’S GHOST by Michael Ondaatje

Anil’s Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje, is an ambitious, haunting mosaic of a novel. This is Ondaatje at his best, the story told through the alternating voices of enigmatic and deeply seen characters who reveal themselves in gorgeous, startling prose as the novel unfolds....

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BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU by Sally Rooney

BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU by Sally Rooney

BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU, by Sally Rooney, entertains, perplexes, and made me think. Rooney has a fabulous ear for dialogue, and her precise details and a courageous vulnerability beneath the awkwardness drew me in as her characters navigate friendship and love....

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IF I HAD YOUR FACE by Frances Cha

IF I HAD YOUR FACE by Frances Cha

IF I HAD YOUR FACE is a fascinating exploration of contemporary South Korea told from the alternating points-of-view of four friends, Kyuri, Miho, Ara and Sujin. As they make their way in the hyper-competitive world of Seoul, they face daunting obstacles, including...

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THE BASS ROCK by Evie Wyld

THE BASS ROCK by Evie Wyld

THE BASS ROCK by Evie Wyld is a bewitching, textured novel that lingers after the last haunting page has turned. Told in alternating points-of-view, Viviane recounts the present-day arc of the story as she travels from London to clear out the family home on the Firth...

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ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS by Ocean Vuong

ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS by Ocean Vuong

ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS, by Ocean Vuong, is an incandescent, devastating novel/prose poem. Written as a letter from Little Dog to his mother, a letter she cannot read because she’s illiterate, the story explores language, family, identity, and what it means to...

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SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones

SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones

SILVER SPARROW, by Tayari Jones, is a complex, superbly written novel with no easy answers. Jones has created flawed, believable characters who struggle with difficult moral issues of family and loyalty even as the consequences of their choices unravel with painful...

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HOW TO SET YOURSELF ON FIRE by Julia Dixon Evans

HOW TO SET YOURSELF ON FIRE by Julia Dixon Evans

How to Set Yourself on Fire, by Julia Dixon Evans, is a quirky story in the vein of Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, only sweeter. Sheila, 35, is a mess. She can’t hold down a job, she barely sleeps, and when she does it’s often on the stoop of her...

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H IS FOR HAWK by Helen Macdonald

H IS FOR HAWK by Helen Macdonald

The goshawk is staring at me in mortal terror, and I can feel the silences between both our heartbeats coincide...She breathes hot hawk breath in my face. It smells of pepper and musk and burned stone. In her extraordinary and riveting memoir, H is for Hawk, Helen...

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LILA by Marilynne Robinson

LILA by Marilynne Robinson

Lila is the third in Marilynne Robinson’s trilogy of novels that takes place in the small Midwestern town of Gilead, and both Gilead (2004) and Home (2008) explore the lives and friendship of two Iowa preachers. In this latest novel, Lila, the wife of the preacher,...

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Jesus: Two Contrasting Studies

Jesus: Two Contrasting Studies

In the following post I discuss two recent books on Jesus. The first is the much hyped Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. The second is The Wife of Jesus, Ancient Texts and Modern Scandals by Anthony Le Donne, which, while...

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THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence

THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence

The following is the first of what I hope to be a regular feature, in which I recommend books that I absolutely love and can whole-heartedly recommend. There are so many places to find book recommendations, but I still sometimes find it difficult to know what to...

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