LitStack Review: Borderline by Mishell Baker

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Borderline Mishell Baker Saga Press Release Date:  March 1, 2016 ISBN 978-1-4814-5306-6 How to write a kick ass novel: 1) Create a main character that is flawed but grudgingly admirable; maybe have her be a double amputee due to a botched suicide attempt that puts her in a psychiatric center.  Give her a diagnosed borderline [….]

LitStack Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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Everything I Never Told You Celeste Ng The Penguin Press Release Date:  June 26, 2014 ISBN 978-1-59420-571-2 It absolutely slays me when debut novels are this good. Everything I Never Told You is the story of a family dealing with a tragic loss.  It’s 1977 in Middlewood, Ohio, and Lydia Lee – the bright, outwardly [….]

LitStack Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami Translated by Philip Gabriel Alfred A. Knopf Publication Date:  August 12, 2014 ISBN 978-0-385-35210-9 Once upon a time, there were five very close friends who attended public high school in Nagoya, Japan – three boys and two girls.  They did everything together:  volunteer work at [….]

LitStack Review: Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

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Little Wolves Thomas Maltman Soho Press, Inc. Release Date:  January 8, 2013 ISBN 978-1-61695-190-0 You read it in the headlines for a few days; it crops up on the newsfeeds.  A troubled youngster with a checkered past snaps, killing someone else and then himself and it’s so sad, so sad.  When it happens in a [….]

LitStack Review: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

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A Tale for the Time Being  Ruth Ozeki Penguin Books Release Date: December 31, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-670-02663-0 It’s both easy and difficult to describe Ruth Ozeki’s contemporary novel, A Tale for the Time Being.  It’s easy to give a simple synopsis:  when a tin lunchbox containing a Japanese schoolgirl’s diary from years earlier washes up [….]

LitStack Review: Oddly Normal by John Schwartz

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Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality John Schwartz Penguin Group (USA) LLC Release Date:  November 8, 2012 ISBN:  978-15-924-0728-6 John Schwartz, national correspondent for The New York Times, is also the father of three children.  His youngest, Joseph, was intelligent with an amazing grasp of [….]

LitStack Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

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The Cuckoo’s Calling Robert Galbraith Mulholland Books Release Date:   April 30, 2013 ISBN 978-0-316-20684-6 I’ll admit it – I’m one of those superficial ne’r-do-wells who would not have read The Cuckoo’s Calling if word hadn’t gotten out that author Robert Galbraith was really J.K. Rowling (of the “Harry Potter” books franchise) using a pseudonym.  Due [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Kurt Vonnegut and Other Little Streams of Consciousness

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A poster has adorned a room in my house ever since it first served as a nursery for my newborn son.  Printed over a picture of a gaggle of babies is this Kurt Vonnegut quote from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the [….]

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

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Ordinary Grace William Kent Krueger Atria Books Publication Date: March 26, 2013 ISBN 978-1-4516-4582-8 I have a confession to make.  I had ulterior motives when reading William Kent Krueger‘s novel, Ordinary Grace.  I felt compelled to read this book, and share it if it bore out being as good as I assumed it would be.  [….]

LitStack Review: Butter by Anne Panning

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Butter Anne Panning Switchgrass Books First Edition:  October 15, 2012 ISBN 978-0-87580-681-5 We usually think of nostalgia as a sentimental warm fuzzy feeling, a wistful desire to return back to what was, when – true or not – things seemed to have been simpler, and “better.”  What is so marvelous with Anne Panning’s novel, Butter, [….]