Superior Reads

A PLACE FOR READERS AND WRITERS

During a time when laws protecting a woman’s body autonomy are being threatened, reading Allende’s book reminds me that throughout history, women have exhibited great strength and resolve, and when banded together, are a force to be reckoned with.

WHEN WOMEN WERE DRAGONS is an evocative tale about gender, gender roles, and the politicization of history. Barnhill has written a cautionary tale about what happens when women are silenced and their human right to make their own choices is taken from them.

Bonnie Garmus has created characters that mock convention. Elizabeth Zott defies authority, not on principal, but on practicality. She sees the world through safety goggles while her male counterparts just wish she’d put on the rose-colored glasses, form-fitting Donna-Reed dress, and sell the canned soup on Supper at Six. But everything in Elizabeth’s world boils down to science – including making her coffee at home with a Bunsen burner and turning her home kitchen into a lab. You’ll fall in love with her dog, Six-Thirty, one of the most astute and intelligent four-legged narrators in fiction today; Mad, her precocious daughter, who reads Nabokov at the age of five, and interrupts show and tell to ask her kindergarten teacher how she can join the Freedom Fighters in Nashville; and her friend and neighbor Harriet, whom after watching Elizabeth stand up to injustice, finds the courage to leave her alcoholic and abusive husband.

Lee Cole’s debut novel, GROUNDSKEEPING, is a coming-of-age story about two lovers trying to navigate social and cultural differences during a time of great upheaval in American politics. Twenty-eight-year-old Owen returns home to rural Kentucky after a failed launch in Colorado and gets a job as a groundskeeper at a local college in exchange for …

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From the award-winning author of WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE and THE BHUDDA IN THE ATTIC, comes a slim, powerhouse of a novel about loss of identity. In shifting points of view, Julie Otsuka gives us an intuitive look at what it means to lose someone you love to dementia. Brilliant, reflective, compressed, nuanced, empathetic, …

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In Stephen Harrigan’s big-hearted coming-of-age novel, LEOPARD IS LOOSE, five-year-old Grady’s tranquil world is upended when a leopard escapes from the nearby zoo. It’s 1952 and Grady and his 7-year-old brother Danny live with their widowed mother, Bethie, in a two-bedroom backyard apartment across a small patch of yard from her parents and siblings. For …

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I always like to end the year on a high note and Louise Erdrich’s THE SENTENCE was a fabulous way to wrap up my reading year. Compelling, propulsive, entertaining, and an important edition to Erdrich’s oeuvre, THE SENTENCE might just be my favorite book of 2021. If you love books, if you’ve ever been in …

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