Superior Reads

A PLACE FOR READERS AND WRITERS

James McBride won the National Book Award for his book The Good Lord Bird, and his newest novel Deacon King Kong is a contender as well. Deacon King Kong may read as a farce, but buried in McBride’s humor and hilarity is a book about grace and second chances. In September of 1969, Deacon Cuffy …

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At the heart of Louise Erdrich’s new novel The Night Watchman is the battle over Native dispossession. Thomas Wazhashk is a night watchman at the Turtle Mountain Reservation’s first factory, a jewel-bearing plant. His character is based upon Erdrich’s grandfather, whose letters and personal accounts provided insight and a valuable resource as she wrote the …

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Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations began that led to the 1692 Salem witch trials, We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry follows the losing 1989 Danvers High School Women’s Varsity Field Hockey Team on their spectacular rise to the state tournament. With a little help from spiritual forces, the …

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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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Peter Geye is back with the third installment of the Eide family story, Northernmost. Like the first in the series, Lighthouse Road, Northernmost alternates between two generations. In 1897, Odd Einar Eide returns home from a harrowing near-death seal hunting expedition in the Arctic to his own funeral. He’s been missing and presumed dead. His …

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Swede Hollow by Ola Larsmo, translated by Tiina Nunnally, is a family saga that follows Gustaf and Anna Klar and their three children from Sweden to New York and eventually to Swede Hollow in St. Paul in the early twentieth century. Gustaf and Anna leave Sweden in 1897 under a shroud of fog and a …

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There are lots of places I would gladly return to, but the totalitarian theocracy of Gilead is not one that I would relish to revisit in real life. But in fiction? Sign me up. Especially, if the regime is about to come down at the hands of a woman. Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s …

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This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger is a big-hearted novel that doesn’t disappoint. Four orphans form an unlikely family in 1932 Minnesota: Motherless Odie O’Banion and his brother Albert, are the only Caucasians at the Lincoln Indian Training School, committed there after their father’s death; their friend Mose, a Native American boy whose tongue …

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