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I'm partial to stories about wacky, interesting and/or dysfunctional families that have a happy ending. Or at least an ending that doesn't end in too much grief. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Matilda by Roald Dahl, anything by John Irving, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. The list could go on and on.
We're All in This Together by Amy Jones fits the bill. The Parker family has come together because the grandmother has gone over a waterfall in a barrel and survived. The question of course is why?
Over the course of a few days the fractured family fractures even more. In hilarious and heartbreaking ways.
The story is set in Thunder Bay and Duluth which gives it a familiar midwestern feel. This is a terrific book and I highly recommend.
Elizabeth McCracken is a favorite writer of mine.
The Kirkus review says "Her psychological acuity transforms what might otherwise have been a twee clutter of oddball details into moving metaphors for the human condition." And, "McCracken's parade of Dickensian grotesques fall in love, feud, reproduce, vanish, and reappear, all with a ridiculous dignity that many readers, if they’re honest, will cringe to recognize from their own lives."
BOWLAWAY is a big goofy delight of a story with writing that dazzles.
The Witch Elm is my introduction to Tana French's work. Where have I been all these years??
This novel is about a guy called Toby. He's a regular, mostly likeable fella who's never had to work or try very hard to be successful. He can usually twist in or out of most predicaments.
One night he's nearly beaten to death by burglars and this rocks his world. He goes to stay with an uncle who's dying and soon after, a young relative finds a skull in the trunk of a tree in his uncle's yard. His refuge is now a crime scene and detectives are questioning every family member.
The author is a master at building suspense so as the plot thickens, so does the tension.
I couldn't put this book down.
I tore through this. A fun read for your beach vacation.
Dessa! My new favorite writer. I think I have a little crush on her.
Her writing is brave, crisp, funny, and relateable. And did I mention funny?
If you are going on a road trip, this is the audio book to make the miles fly by.
The language is lovely, poetic, musical, haunting. The story will stay with you long after the book ends.
National Book Award finalist.
An illustrated memoir about a family struggling with addiction. I loved it and think kids 12 and up will too.
This is my pick to win the Newbery Award for 2018. It's an important book that should be read in schools everywhere.
After being shot by a white police officer who thought a toy gun was real, twelve year old Jerome's ghost observes his family and community in the aftermath of this tragedy. Another ghost, a boy named Emmet Till, guides Jerome and helps him process what has happened.
Connecting the deaths of these boys brings historical racism, concious and unconcious, to life in this heartbreaking story.
Speechless is a story, a learning experience, in which a boy named Jimmy learns how to really see his cousin, Patrick, who has died at age 13.
Jimmy is asked, told really, to give a eulogy for his cousin Patrick's funeral. Every time Jimmy and Patrick have been together things have turned into disaster because Patrick was so volatile. Throughout the book Jimmy is desperately searching for one fond memory he can talk about in the eulogy. Every birthday party, 4th of July picnic, school concert, even a walk to the drugstore, has turned into a crisis. Jimmy's starting to panic that he won't have a nice thing to say about Patrick.
This poignant book is an exploration of families and how they do and don't listen to one another.
Although aimed at middle schoolers, many adults would benefit from reading this story. Plus, it's really funny!
A really fun and interesting memoir about working in the White House during the Obama years. Not so much a policy wonk read, more of a work hard, party hard, behind the scenes look at one young woman's incredible devotion to her job and the president she served. Loved it!
Louisiana is one of the characters in Kate's earlier novels, Raymie Nightingale. I'm so glad Louisiana's shining voice is back in this wonderful new story.
For teens, a novel about a girl who tells the truth.
A well told and still timely tale of a young girls abuse at the hands of an older authority figure.
A really good middle-grade read about a girl who's parents are ghost hunters. With a twist.
Always a fan.
A graphic memoir. Liked it very much.
Getting "VOXED" may be the new term for being silenced. In this frightening new novel women wear a special wristband (you can pick your color) that gives them a little reminder not to speak more than 100 words per day. Disciplining your children? Comforting them when they have a bad dream? Making a phone call? All things of the past. Unless you've saved enough words. Reading, driving, opening the mail, things we take for granted now are gone as well.
This is a chilling reminder of how quickly women's rights can vanish and how hard it is to get them back.
Kooky with a big heart is how I think of this delightful novel. The Telemachus family is made up of psychics and con artists, some of them struggle with whether to use their powers for good or for cash. Then the mafia and the CIA come calling and chaos reigns except for the one person who saw it all coming......