My Best Books for 2016

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A ‘classic’ was defined by Italian author Italo Calvino as “…a book that’s never finished saying what it has to say.”

Now, I’m not claiming that the books I truly loved this year are ‘classics’, however, I’m borrowing Calvino’s definition to guide my list of top picks for 2016. This year, I’m paying less attention to five-star ratings and more attention to the books that are still speaking to me. Continue reading

What’s new?

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I haven’t been shouting from the rooftops about new releases this year – not because there’s been a lack of ace new books but because I’ve been focusing my reading on what’s been languishing in the TBR stack.

But thanks to the magic that is NetGalley, a few have come my way… This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the 2016 new releases that have made my heart sing. Continue reading

Reading in the danger zone

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Do you start singing a certain Kenny Loggins hit when you hear the words ‘comfort zone’? I do. Even though comfort and danger are pretty much opposites… Anyhoo, my comfort zone is contemporary literature. I don’t stray often but there have been some notable (and excellent) exceptions in the last year or so –

Speculative Fiction Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Olive Kitteridge to Doppler

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It’s time for #6Degrees (and for the first time, I’m hosting – that’s code for you absolutely must join in, please)!

We begin with Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge. The story is set in a small town in Maine, as is John Irving’s beautiful saga, The Cider House Rules. Continue reading

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

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Quite frankly, I would find it hard not to love a book that includes this line* –

“She felt fortunate to live near such an active riparian corridor.”

That’s toward the end of Elizabeth McKenzies’s latest novel, The Portable Veblen but there’s plenty more on a par with that kooky little gem.

“‘And I’m a major typer,’ she added. ‘Like, I’ll type the lyrics of a song while I’m listening to it.’ Why had she said this? It was only a side pocket of her whole entity.” Continue reading