The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya

a bookclique pick by Currie Engel When I set out to write my book review, I’d already selected a fun, summer fiction read. But walking into my local bookstore in Greenwich Village three weeks ago, a display with the label “IMMIGRANT STORIES” made me pause. I wandered over and picked up Clemantine Wamariya’s memoir, intrigued by the promise of a compelling narrative. Recent news stories … Continue reading The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya

Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn

a bookclique pick by Tanya Boteju In Amber Dawn’s second novel, Sodom Road Exit, loss, haunting, desire, and trauma roll in waves through the story like the famous ‘Cyclone’ roller coaster brought to life in its pages. And like a roller coaster, this story is both terrifying and strangely satisfying. The terror comes in many forms — the torment of childhood sexual abuse, the despair … Continue reading Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

a bookclique pick by Mela Frye On a cool December morning in 1958, Flannery O’Connor gave birth to a secret lovechild. The father was Kurt Vonnegut, who earlier that year while traveling through Georgia had taken a brief (yet passionate) sojourn in Milledgeville, where O’Connor lived.  This is how I like to imagine the genetic provenance of George Saunders. If you are new to Saunders, … Continue reading Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Educated by Tara Westover

a bookclique pick by Jessica Flaxman Since well before the publication of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 1762 treatise on education, Emile, people have wondered whether formally schooling children is more helpful or harmful to the development of free and critical thinkers. In Educated, a powerful memoir of growing up without any formal education until the age of seventeen, historian Tara Westover offers a nuanced picture of a … Continue reading Educated by Tara Westover

Hymn to the Reckless by Erin Fornoff

a bookclique pick by Mela Frye One of life’s greater hazards is befriending writers. One dreads the disappointment of art not equalling life, of having to lie — OR, to tell the truth.  In some writerly friendships, however, one discovers a union of pleasure and relief. Such is the happy case with Erin Fornoff and her beautiful debut collection of poems, Hymn to the Reckless. … Continue reading Hymn to the Reckless by Erin Fornoff