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Dept. of Speculation
I underlined basically the entire novel.
May 22, 2013
May 21, 2013
The Night Circus
THE NIGHT CIRCUS is magical realism at its most fun. The major storyline pits two young magicians (and two schools of thought) in a mysterious battle ...more
May 27, 2011
May 29, 2011
The Lowland
Wow. Jhumpa Lahiri's THE LOWLAND is a big novel with the power of her best short stories.

It follows the life of Subhash Mitra as he grows up in Calcu
Jan 17, 2013
Jan 24, 2013
The Circle
THE CIRCLE is a fever dream of a novel about an individual at a tech behemoth, about the sinister undertones of our best intentions, and about the con ...more
Aug 16, 2013
Aug 21, 2013
DUST opens with a brilliant, charismatic hero running for his life through the streets of Nairobi. He's chased down, shot, and killed by the police. A ...more
Mar 07, 2014
Feb 10, 2014
The Other Language
The first story in THE OTHER LANGUAGE took me by surprise and completely blew me away. The beauty and grace and urgency of each moment captures a life ...more
Oct 2013
Sep 11, 2013
Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead's excellent SEATING ARRANGEMENTS is much darker than you'd expect for something packaged as a summer read. It's both a summer romp an ...more
Jun 2012
May 25, 2012
Station Eleven
STATION ELEVEN is that rare book you can recommend to any type of reader and be confident you've given them their new favorite.
Jun 20, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
City on Fire
This book is spectacular.

The plot is famously long so I'll avoid a summary. What I will say is it's fantastic and addictive: two murders early in the
Jul 16, 2015
Jul 16, 2015
The Children Act
Safe money to win the Booker.
Jun 10, 2014
Jun 05, 2014
Super Sad True Love Story
“Only spoiled white people could let something so good get so bad,” a character Verbals in Gary Shteyngart’s dystopian novel, SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STOR ...more
Aug 07, 2010
Jul 22, 2010
Vaclav and Lena
Vaclav & Lena is a book to (forgive the word) cherish. It's all the secrets we keep growing up; it's what it's like to be a kid alone; what it's l ...more
Jun 06, 2011
May 30, 2011
This is not a novel, but I judge it as one because that's what Bolano called it. (I assume he wrote it before giving up on being a poet?) ANTWERP is i ...more
Nov 15, 2010
Nov 13, 2010
The Tiger's Wife
Part mystery and part fable, the part you'll really remember is the story of the girl and her grandfather. Animals become a metaphor for life and love ...more
Jan 02, 2011
Dec 30, 2010
My Fathers' Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain
This is an excellent novel for fans of Bolano or Marias. Philosophical, experimental, but still emotional and plot driven. I hope the rest of his work ...more
Oct 13, 2012
Oct 09, 2012
The Lake Shore Limited
What a fantastic book! Sue Miller's THE LAKE SHORE LIMITED was an unlikely choice for me, given the author's reputation. But then I read Ron Charles c ...more
May 24, 2010
Apr 27, 2010
The Age of Miracles
THE AGE OF MIRACLES is a moving book that snuck its way into my dreams. I fell in love with the characters. I am proud to have this book on my shelf.

Aug 15, 2012
Aug 06, 2012
Love Me Back
Unrelenting. This is mostly a good thing. 3.5 stars rounded up.
Mar 15, 2014
Mar 20, 2014
How To Be Both
Aug 25, 2014
Aug 21, 2014
The Flame Alphabet
Marcus has, as his editor says, "this wild imagination and such matter of fact prose." It makes what could be a wild science fiction book with a page- ...more
Oct 06, 2011
Sep 30, 2011
In Between Days
Andrew Porter can write the American family in a way few other can. He has a sympathy and understanding of his characters--even as he puts them throug ...more
Jun 27, 2012
Jun 10, 2012
The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)
It's a formula, yes. You know when the scene will change, when a new emotional struggle will ensue, long before it happens. You know the entire plot a ...more
Jun 11, 2011
Jun 11, 2011
The artwork, my god the artwork. What a beautiful, mind-blowing achievement. The story moves quickly. It's very well written, though it revolves aroun ...more
Sep 14, 2011
Sep 13, 2011
The Same River Twice
Reading this book felt like rushing through a dream: The characters are not fully formed, the settings and situations are never quite right, but it wa ...more
Jun 30, 2010
Jun 04, 2010
Like You'd Understand, Anyway
Jim Shepard knows everything. Everything. His stories baffle me with their omniscience, and I think that's exactly the point. The over-researched, MFA ...more
not set
May 23, 2010
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
If you haven't read BOSSYPANTS, read that first. If you have read BOSSYPANTS...maybe read it again.

Sloane Crosley might also be a better choice (witho
Nov 18, 2012
Nov 18, 2012
The Sense of an Ending
What I loved about Barnes's SENSE OF AN ENDING, was the author's unreal ability to tell a lifetime's worth of story in a few stray thoughts.

One typica
Nov 06, 2011
Oct 15, 2011
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
Gritty, funny, and occasionally intense stories of people who are down on their luck (or about to be). Wells hints at trouble for most of the book but ...more
Apr 02, 2010
Mar 22, 2010
The Gone-Away World
When was the last time ninjas didn't make things better. Teenage mutant turtles? They eat lots of pizza and use funny words? Yawn. You throw some gong ...more
Jan 24, 2012
Jan 08, 2012
The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)
The action and world-building were great, but the character's thoughts and motivations were often forced to move the action along. Right now I'd read ...more
Aug 28, 2013
Aug 28, 2013
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