A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

a bookclique pick from Vicky Waldthausen Reading a book once doesn’t usually result in a character sticking with me, no matter how much I enjoy the story. Slowly the names fade, the descriptions become generic, and soon the characters are defined more by the plot of the book than anything else. There are anomalies, of course — characters who stay with me even though I … Continue reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

a bookclique pick by Jessica Flaxman A young girl is seduced by an older man in fine clothing. A kind but sickly visitor to the girl’s mother’s boarding house marries the girl and raises her illegitimate son as his own. The spurned biological father haunts and protects the girl, now woman, and her family throughout their long lives. Set against the backdrop of the Japanese … Continue reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

a bookclique pick by Ari Pinkus You don’t have to be a Jane Austen fan to become enraptured in The Austen Escape. Katherine Reay’s latest women’s fiction novel is very much a classic coming-of-age story with historic and modern twists. Even the two settings are emblematic of old and new eras. The novel opens in Austin, Texas, a tech hub, where the main character, Mary … Continue reading The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

a bookclique pick by Ann Klotz I bought Turtles All the Way Down in an airport last fall, expecting to donate it to my school library. I read it in one gulp on the plane. Since then, I’ve shared the book with three high school students and acquired a second copy that I keep lending to girls who say, “Oooh, can I borrow that?” Green’s depiction of … Continue reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

a bookclique pick by Currie Engel I stumbled upon Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours by accident. Frustrated by the cliché plot and predictable dialogue in the book I had originally chosen to review, I found myself entranced by the voice of 12-year-old Rill Foss in Wingate’s stunning novel. The book’s split narrative tells the story of Rill, a ward of the state in 1939 … Continue reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

a bookclique pick by Lindsey Mead Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere is both page-turningly entertaining and thoughtful.  I raced through the story, curious about what would happen with the beautifully detailed, deeply human characters, and then, once I put it down, found I could not stop thinking about the world Ng had created. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Little Fires Everywhere explores themes of race and class, planning and surprise, … Continue reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

a bookclique pick by Laura Dickerman Irish writer Sally Rooney, only 26 years old, a former top European debater from Trinity College in Dublin, wrote her first novel, Conversations with Friends, in three months. It is a quick-moving, fascinating study of two couples, Frances and Bobbi, young women who are entwined romantically, emotionally, and intellectually; and Melissa and Nick, who are older, married, successful and … Continue reading Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Brother by David Chariandy

a bookclique pick by Tanya Boteju  I’m obsessed with David Chariandy’s books and brain. Ever since a student suggested I read his first novel Soucouyant years ago, I’ve held it close to my heart—teaching it in my classroom and begging him to visit for a book talk (with success, finally, last year!). I was deeply moved by Chariandy’s sensitive portrayal of a mother and son … Continue reading Brother by David Chariandy