Worth A Read: We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Worth A Read: We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The BUZZ: This pocket-sized book, all of 48 pages, has been holding its own on bestseller lists for months. It’s the transcript of Nigerian novelist Adichie’s 2012 TEDx Talk with the same title, a personal essay about what it means to be a feminist today. The GIST: As Adichie writes in her introduction, she was hesitant to […]

Worth A Read: A God In Ruins, by Kate Atkinson

Worth A Read: A God In Ruins, by Kate Atkinson

The BUZZ: One of Amazon’s Best Books of 2015, from the award-winning author of Life After Life. The GIST: A ‘companion’ to Life After Life ( which I have not read ). This story focuses on Teddy, the beloved little brother of Ursula Todd, from that debut novel. Teddy is an old Brit reviewing his […]

Worth A Read: The Bennett Women, by Roberta R. Carr

Worth A Read: The Bennett Women, by Roberta R. Carr

The BUZZ: Third novel by the author of The Vernazza Effect and The Foundation. The GIST: Muriel, Susanne and Lilia represent three generations of strong, talented women. Muriel, the aging grandmother, is a gifted water-colorist. Susanne, her daughter, is a Fortune 500 CEO. Her daughter, Lilia, is an accomplished cello student. They share deep bonds, […]

Is it Worth A Read?: Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee

Is it Worth A Read?: Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee

  As our faithful blog followers know, every week we post a review of a book we consider worth a read. We don’t trash books we don’t like, so there are no negative reviews here. Each book we write about is one we consider valuable, either because of the story itself or the writing, or both. […]

Worth A Read: Life Work, by Donald Hall

Worth A Read: Life Work, by Donald Hall

The BUZZ: 1993 memoir by the award-winning Poet Laureate and children’s author. Winner of the New England Book Award for non-fiction. The GIST: I read this book years ago, and felt the need to revisit it. Hall impressed me back then as a counter-cultural character, living a country poet’s existence away from his Harvard and […]

Worth A Read: The Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg

Worth A Read: The Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg

The BUZZ: Historical fiction by the bestselling author of Open House and Tapestry of Fortunes. The GIST: This memoir-like story presents the life and times of the brilliant writer, George Sand. Born Aurore Dupin in 1801, Sand fled her loveless, arranged marriage to live among the artists in Paris, leaving behind her two young children. […]

Worth A Read: Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty

Worth A Read: Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty

The BUZZ: The sixth novel by internationally bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret (If you can get past the dopey titles, there is substance here). Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have teamed up to bring it to the big screen. The GIST: The story follows three mothers whose children attend kindergarten together in a beachside […]

Worth A Read: Leaving Before The Rains Come, by Alexandra Fuller

Worth A Read: Leaving Before The Rains Come, by Alexandra Fuller

The BUZZ: Latest memoir from the author of Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight, and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness The GIST: In her third memoir, Alexandra Fuller untangles the breakdown of her marriage to Charlie Ross, whom she met and fell in love with in Zambia. His calm, capable persona promised rescue […]

Worth A Read: The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins

Worth A Read: The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins

The BUZZ: A debut psychological thriller that is already a New York Times bestseller; Amazon Best Book of the Month for January, 2015. The GIST: Lonely and bored, Rachel rides the train to London each day, passing through the suburbs. The train stops regularly at a particular crossing, and Rachel has the chance to peer into the lives […]

Worth A Read: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Worth A Read: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

  The BUZZ: Station Eleven was a 2014 National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller. This is Mandel’s fourth novel. The GIST: This ingenious story opens in the middle of a performance of King Lear and moves swiftly to the end of the world as we know it. By chapter three, a pandemic is well on its way to […]

Worth A Read: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

Worth A Read: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

The BUZZ:  Maya Angelou was a renowned author and poet, singer, dancer, and producer, a voice for women and blacks, and the recipient of multiple awards and honorary degrees. She published this memoir – the first of what turned out to be seven volumes – in 1969, when she was 31. The GIST:  This is the […]

Worth A Read: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

Worth A Read: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

The BUZZ: Winner of The Man Booker Prize, from the bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club The GIST: Rosemary is a fifth-year student at UC Davis, undeniably bright but spinning her wheels without direction or confidence. She is a fractured person from a fractured family. Their demise wasn’t caused by divorce or a […]

Worth A Read: The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez

Worth A Read: The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez

The BUZZ: Appeared on numerous “best books of 2014” lists, including NPR, Amazon’s Top Ten, NYT 100 Notable Books of 2014, and the Daily Beast Novel of the Year. The GIST: The Rivera family has immigrated from Mexico to Delaware to seek help for their teenaged daughter, Mirabel, who has suffered a traumatic brain injury. The story opens with […]

Worth A Read: Simple Victories, by Anne Lamott

Worth A Read: Simple Victories, by Anne Lamott

The BUZZ: Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace was released last month and is already a bestseller and #1 in the Kindle store for essays and spirituality. This is Lamott’s 9th work of non-fiction. The GIST: This new book from Lamott – a collection of fresh essays and some old favorites – does not […]

Worth A Read: And Sons, by David Gilbert

Worth A Read: And Sons, by David Gilbert

The BUZZ: Bestseller by the author of The Normals, Washington Post’s Best Book of the Year The GIST: Fifty years ago, the father in this story, A.N.Dyer, wrote Ampersand, a novel of teenage boys in turmoil at prep school. It became a modern classic, establishing Dyer as beloved literary icon, adored by everyone except his […]

Worth A Read: A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

Worth A Read: A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

The BUZZ: This book, born out of a character a Swedish blogger first introduced on his blog, became a European sensation and is now an international bestseller. The GIST: Ove (rhymes with mover) is a curmudgeon. He’s grumpy about other people, other people’s habits, other people’s incompetence, and even other people’s choice of vehicles. He’s […]

Worth A Read: The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball

Worth A Read: The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball

The BUZZ: An Indie Next Notable Book for 2010, Amazon Best Books of 2010, Top 10 Books: Home & Garden. The real-life chronicle of Essex Farm, a Community Supported Agriculture venture in New York state. The GIST: In her early thirties, Kristin Kimball inhabited a glamorous life in Manhattan as a free-lance writer. The Harvard […]

Worth A Read: The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker

Worth A Read: The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker

The BUZZ: A contemporary supplement to the classic Elements of Style. An intriguing scientific basis for writing rules and fundamentals by the author of The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought The GIST: I remember fist picking up Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style as an adolescent. Initially excited that it might help […]

Worth A Read: The Children Act, by Ian McEwan

Worth A Read: The Children Act, by Ian McEwan

The BUZZ: Latest novel by Jerusalem Prize-winner and author of Atonement The GIST: Fiona Maye is a devoted, accomplished London barrister. She presides over family law cases that center on The Children Act which provides protection and welfare for British minors.The story begins after her husband of thirty years, a University professor, proposes open marriage. […]

Worth A Read: The Other Typist, by Suzanne Rindell

Worth A Read: The Other Typist, by Suzanne Rindell

The BUZZ: A debut novel and psychological thriller; a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year (2013). Keira Knightley has signed on to produce and star in the film version of the novel. The GIST: It’s the roaring 20’s, and young Rose Baker is not partaking of its fruits. Instead, she’s enjoying her unremarkable job […]

Worth A Read: The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches (series), by Alan Bradley

Worth A Read: The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches (series), by Alan Bradley

The BUZZ: This main character has her own fan club, but you’ve likely never heard of her. Bradley has taken an innovative approach to detective fiction, and this is the 6th book in the award-winning series. The GIST: Flavia de Luce is an 11-year-old genius living in an old English pile with her obnoxious older […]

Worth A Read: Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood

Worth A Read: Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood

The BUZZ: A book of short stories by the incomparable Atwood. She has 40 published works – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s books – to her credit to date. The GIST: These nine tales are deceptive. On the surface, they are straightforward, told in the crisp, witty, intelligent style Atwood is known for. The reader […]

Worth A Read: An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine

Worth A Read: An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine

The BUZZ: Just nominated for the 2014 National Book Award. This is the fifth novel for Alameddine and a glimpse into the history and culture of the Middle East. The GIST: A lonely elderly woman, Aaliya Saleh, narrates her tale from her decaying apartment in Beirut. She has seen very little of the world yet […]

Worth A Read: Tongues of Flame, by Mary Ward Brown

Worth A Read: Tongues of Flame, by Mary Ward Brown

The BUZZ: When this book was published in 1986, it caused a small sensation. It won the PEN/Faulkner Award for debut fiction the following year, and its celebrated, emerging author was almost 70 years old. The GIST: These short stories are distinct from each other, but all share the soul of the Deep South. Brown […]

Worth A Read: The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

Worth A Read: The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

The BUZZ: The 29th novel from the bestselling author of The Dovekeepers, and Practical Magic The GIST: Coralie Sardie is a motherless daughter working as the Human Mermaid in The Museum of Extraordinary Things, the Coney Island freak show run by her sinister father. She is a gentle soul, unable to free herself from his […]

Worth A Read: The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

Worth A Read: The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

The BUZZ: This NY Times bestseller was recommended to me by four people in the same week (thanks Kim, Ann, Kerry, and Bill). I figured I had to check it out. The GIST: First, this is not a war book. It intersects with the build up of Nazi Germany, but the subject is the extraordinary […]

Worth A Read: Quiet, by Susan Cain

Worth A Read: Quiet, by Susan Cain

The BUZZ: No. 1 on NPR’s bestseller list, No. 1 non-fiction on Goodread’s Choice Awards The GIST: Susan Cain’s TED talk is one of that series’ most popular, supporting the premise of her book that introversion is not a direct route to the sidelines. An introvert herself, Cain felt indignant at society’s view of introversion […]

Worth A Read: The Dinner, by Herman Koch

Worth A Read: The Dinner, by Herman Koch

  The BUZZ: International bestseller by a Dutch TV producer, actor and novelist The GIST: Two brothers are out to dinner with their wives at a tony restaurant in Amsterdam.  One is a well-known politician, the other a teacher.  The fussy, expensive meal highlights the differences between them and the worlds they inhabit.  Five courses, […]

Worth A Read: All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Worth A Read: All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

The BUZZ:  Anthony Doerr is an acclaimed novelist and short story writer; this novel, published in May, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. The GIST:  Two parallel stories intersect in this gripping story of World War II.  Marie-Laure grows up in Paris with her father, who works at the Museum of Natural History. She […]

Worth A Read: The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear

Worth A Read: The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear

The BUZZ: Winspear is best known for her popular Maisie Dobbs mystery series, so this novel (published this month) is a rare treat. The GIST: The story opens in 1914, on the eve of Great Britain’s entry into World War I. It is an in-between time, when the innocence of life in country towns is […]

Worth A Read: So Long A Letter, by Mariama Ba

Worth A Read:  So Long A Letter, by Mariama Ba

The BUZZ: So Long A Letter was groundbreaking when it was published in 1979, and it was the first African novel to win the prestigious Noma Award. The GIST: This semi-autobiographical work takes the form of a personal letter between friends. Ramatoulaye, a recently widowed Senegalese woman, is writing to Aissatou, divorced and now living […]

Worth A Read: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon

Worth A Read: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon

  The BUZZ: This is the eighth book in The Outlander series. Starting in August, Outlander will be a miniseries on Starz. The GIST: Twenty years ago, a sophisticated friend of mine handed me her copy of Outlander. I was surprised that she would let anyone know that she read this book (I had seen […]

Worth A Read: The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan

Worth A Read: The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan

The BUZZ: This New York Times and Los Angeles Times nonfiction bestseller is Denise Kiernan’s 4th in the history genre. The GIST: In 1942, a government city sprang up seemingly overnight in the Tennessee hills. It was called Oak Ridge, and its sole purpose was to purify uranium for use in an atomic bomb. Of […]

Worth A Read: The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion

Worth A Read: The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion

The BUZZ: Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013. Not sure how I missed this one last year. Optioned for the big screen by Sony Pictures. The GIST: Narrator Don Tillman is a brilliant genetics professor at a prestigious university. He decides at age 39 that it’s time to find a wife. This presents […]

Worth A Read: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Worth A Read: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

The BUZZ:  This book is everywhere. John Green is a hero of the Young Adult genre (search #TFIOS on Twitter and you’ll find thousands of tweets). Green started as a vlogger on YouTube and has written five previous novels. The movie opens in theaters on June 6. The GIST:  The narrator, Hazel, is a teenager […]

Worth A Read: The Circle, by Dave Eggers

Worth A Read: The Circle, by Dave Eggers

The BUZZ: A finalist for the National Book Award, this fast-paced novel will be of interest to anyone who has used social media. In any way. Ever. The GIST: Wide-eyed Mae Holland has been hired by the Circle, the largest, hippest, most powerful technology company in the world. The Circle’s stated mission is simple: connect […]

Worth A Read: Telex from Cuba, by Rachel Kushner

Worth A Read: Telex from Cuba, by Rachel Kushner

The BUZZ:   Telex from Cuba was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book.  This is Kushner’s debut novel. The GIST: This novel is set in the 1950’s, in Cuba’s Oriente Province, home to American expat families running the sugar cane and nickel mining operations.  The […]

Worth A Read: Alena, by Rachel Pastan

Worth A Read: Alena, by Rachel Pastan

The BUZZ: Rachel Pastan’s third novel, a homage to the classic, Rebecca. The GIST: While in Venice at the Biennale, a young mid-western curator’s assistant meets Bernard, the wealthy, magnetic owner of a Cape Cod contemporary art museum. The two connect over a harmonious response to Giotto, and Bernard offers her a job as curator.  His […]