The Bees by Laline Paull

The Bees is one of the most beautiful and creative books I've read in some time. The premise is straightforward: it's the story of Flora 717, one of thousands of sanitation worker bees tasked with cleaning up all the waste the hive generates. Flora isn't a typical bee, though--she's not quite content to "accept, obey,... Continue Reading →

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

This was such a gorgeous, quiet book. Told in two distinct sections, it tells the story of Michael and Ellis, two childhood friends who remain close into adulthood, until Michael eventually drifts out of Ellis's life. I loved everything about this book. I inhaled it one sitting. It was perfectly structured, and the whole thing unfolded... Continue Reading →

There There by Tommy Orange

Wow. What a gutting and beautiful novel. It's a book about twelve Native Americans whose lives converge (or don't) at the Big Oakland Powwow. It's a book about urban Indians (as the characters in the book often label themselves). It is a sprawling, moving, and vitally urgent book about the urban Native American experience, which,... Continue Reading →

Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro

Anger Is a Gift is devastating and spectacular. This one literally took my breath away. It made me cry, but it also filled my heart right up. The fact that it did both of these things--that it was often painful to read, but that just as often, it was filled with warmth and love and... Continue Reading →

My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley

My Ex-Life is a quiet novel about ordinary people dealing with the ordinary upsets of life in late middle age. David and Julie were married briefly when they were young. Now in their fifties, David's younger boyfriend has just left him and Julie is in the process of divorcing her second husband. David decides to... Continue Reading →

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

This novel was an absolute delight--a warmhearted, unexpectedly up-put-down-able, beautifully surprising, funny, and refreshingly optimistic novel. It wasn't even on my radar until it won the Pulitzer, and though I don't put much stock in literary awards (they seem to be mostly hit or miss), I'd also heard good things about it, so I picked it... Continue Reading →

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