Superior Reads

A PLACE FOR READERS AND WRITERS

Mary Casanova is the author of thirty-nine books — most of which have been written for young readers. Waterfall is her third adult novel set on Rainy Lake in northern Minnesota. Waterfall is the story of Trinity Baird who has recently returned to the family’s summer home after nearly two years at Oak Hills Asylum, …

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Kathleen West, author of MINOR DRAMAS AND OTHER CATASTROPHES is back with a rollick through teenage angst and twenty-first century parenting in ARE WE THERE YET? Alice Sullivan has it all – two perfect children, a handsome and successful husband, and a booming interior design business – until suddenly, she doesn’t. In a conflagration of …

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It’s hard to write about the Dust Bowl without tipping over into melodrama, and at times it felt as if the only thing moving the story forward was the next disaster. The relationships between the women in THE FOUR WINDS kept me invested. Elsa is a bit of a sad-sack, but her daughter Loreda is fierce and as she ages, she challenges Elsa to overcome her fears.

THE GREAT CIRCLE is a big book – not just because it is nearly 600 pages long – but because of the breadth of the subject matter – art, aviation, prohibition, noncomformity, war, isolation, connection – and the period it spans 1909-2014 – give or take a few decade gaps. There will be So. Much. To. Discuss. with your book group! Maggie Shipstead has a keen understanding of longing and what it means to be human.

I cannot recommend EARLY MORNING RISER enough. EARLY MORNING RISER brims with love and hope and humor. Heiny redefines family in this enchanting novel and I felt my heart lifted from the heaviness of the past year. Her characters are complex and quirky – they’re your mother, your brother, or your neighbor – they are just like all those complicated people you encounter on a daily basis. Whether you live in a small town, or your village of people is in a big city, you’ll recognize them and after reading EARLY MORNING RISER, you’ll find the things that may have previously annoyed you, endearing. Heiny is like that – through her lens, you’ll see things differently.

BROOD brims with hope in the midst of grief and tenderness in spite of loss. “Life is the ongoing effort to live,” Polzin writes, “some people make it look easy. Chickens do not.” BROOD is an honest look at life, love, loss, and to some extent, chickens.

Hyde’s characters are often one-dimensional and her plots simplistic, but the relationship between a cast-off young man and a disillusioned elderly woman who has watched her neighborhood devolve into a place of bigotry and fear, is like putting a warm blanket over 2020. Could I look more hopefully into the face of 2021? Maybe — if I let myself believe that the good people in HAVE YOU SEEN LUIS VELEZ exist outside of its pages.

In 2015, Sarah Stonich published Fishing with RayAnne under the pseudonym Ava Finch. Lucky for us it’s being made into a trilogy with the first installment being reissued this month by University of Minnesota Press as Fishing! by Sarah Stonich. Hot off the pro-fishing circuit, thirty-something RayAnne is serving as a consultant for the first …

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Ann Patchett’s eighth novel, The Dutch House, is the story of brother and sister Danny and Maeve Conroy who are disinherited after their father’s untimely death. Like many of Patchett’s novels, The Dutch House explores family – not of the nuclear sort, but the family we create when things go awry. The story is told …

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