It’s not all fika and Ikea

As you know, I tend to be pretty hard on thrillers. So what does it take for me to really love one, besides You? I guess it just has to be well written, have multiple compelling storylines, seamlessly blend fact and fiction, have a great setting, and a kickass redhead heroine. Easy!

I am stoked to be sharing Florence Wetzel's The Grand Man with you. This book will take you on a ride. At its core,...

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If we can’t get rid of guns, let’s at least do this five dollar thing.

"If guns were banned, then how would men kill their wives? How would men kill themselves? How would men exact revenge on the world for not giving them everything they'd ever wanted?"

So, reading How To Be Safe is going to feel extremely timely. This novel about the aftermath of a school shooting in a small town highlights the absurdity of gun culture in this country, shows what a nightmare our society is for women, and somehow manages to be really fucking funny....

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Once Less, with feeling

Strange to be almost fifty, no? I feel like I just understood how to be young.

Yes! It's like the last day in a foreign country. You finally figure out where to get coffee, and drinks, and a good steak. And then you have to leave. And you won't ever be back.

Oh man, do those lines from Less resonate with me. Even though I'm "only" almost 46, I do feel like I just figured out where to get coffee. Now I have to find a bunch of new stuff, or...

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May this be the last Best of 2017 list you read this year

Took me a while to get to this, but here are my favorites that I read last year.

Super top favorites:

All Grown Up. My absolute favorite of the year. The only book I actually bought a copy of, mostly because she was here on my birthday and you can't ask someone to autograph a library book.

Jillian. This one has an easy litmus test. Do you think someone saying she wants to hysterectomize herself and throw her uterus against the wall is funny? I do too and that's...

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you

I realized recently that putting the 'not for everyone' tag on a book review is essentially a guarantee that I will read it. (On the flip side, putting the 'written by Jonathan Franzen' tag guarantees I'll avoid it.) If there's a love it or hate it situation, I want a vote. And when I read the first line of the description of Jillian:

Megan, recently out of college and working a meaningless job as a gastroenterologist's secretary, openly hates all of her friends for being happy...

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The book of today

This summer, one of my most trusted reader friends read an ARC of The World of Tomorrow, and said it was one of the best books she'd read in years. I'm so glad she did, because otherwise, I don't think it would have been on my radar. And as I might have mentioned once or twice already, I. loved. this. book. Thanks, Deb!

I'm not scared off by big (500+ page) books, but I always assume they'll be overwritten. But no, this one is just long because there is so much going on, and so many...

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One thing leads to another…

I had a few reasons for reading Last Things this weekend. For one, I love graphic memoirs, in fact, they're typically the only memoirs I can stand. I also tend to be in pressing-on-a-bruise mode around Memorial Day, and a very sad story of untimely loss fits that bill perfectly. But the main reason I picked this up is that Lucy loves this author's middle grade books, and I wanted to see if this was okay for her. Verdict:

That was a little disappointing, but I had to move a few...

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You shred it, wheat!

2 question pop quiz:

1. What are my two favorite things?

2. What comes out today?

Answers:

1. Books and summer.

2. The Book of Summer!

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this, and it is killer. This has pretty much everything I look for in a novel. Great writing, beautiful setting, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters. Just thinking about Topper and Hattie is putting a smile on my face right now. I always love it when historical fiction bounces back and...

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There’s no book like Was

"Dorothy," said Aunty Em. "Please come back. You were the light of my life. You were what kept me going all those years."

These lines, said by the "real" Aunty Em to depressed adolescent Dorothy in Geoffrey Ryman's captivating novel Was, kind of make me want to call my mom to apologize for the teen years. Now that I have a tween of my own, I have a better idea of how the pain of adolescence also affects the parents. It probably really sucks.

I loved Was when...

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When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange…

"Marriage doesn't hurt the cuddling or even change the sex all that much, but it does do something very bad to kissing."

I could pick about 52 million relevant quotes from Sarah Dunn's amazing novel, The Arrangement, but I think this one sums it up best. I was not prepared for how funny and how deep and how thought provoking and how meaningful and how poignant this was going to be. This is a story about a couple, Owen and Lucy, who, after many years and one child...

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