Review: The Idiot

The Idiot
The Idiot by Elif Batuman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! Selin, the 19 year old Turkish-American main character is quirky, smart and confused about life and love. She is so exactly an 18 year old college freshman – smart, but ignorant, rebellious and conformist. I had near-constant flashbacks to myself at the same age. The book is also really, really funny in places. Selin’s dry wit and acerbic commentary on all that’s going on around her are fantastic.




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Review: Lullabies for Little Criminals

Lullabies for Little Criminals
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“If you want to get a child to love you, then you should just go hide in the closet for three or four hours. They get down on their knees and pray for you to return. That child will turn you into God. Lonely children probably wrote the Bible.” Baby, the 12-year-old narrator, will break your heart, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. I loved this!



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Review: The Sunlight Pilgrims

The Sunlight Pilgrims
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful apocalypse story – the story slowly unfolds as the earth slowly descends into a new ice age. The author’s focus remains upon the three (very intriguing) main characters, but we are fully aware of the social and economic disintegration happening around them. Recommended for fans of Station Eleven.



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Review: The Garden of Last Days

The Garden of Last Days
The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cast of deeply flawed (in some cases far less than sympathetic) characters intersect as they play out their own doomed fates and make bad life choices. The book made me uncomfortable, even angry, but I suspect this was Dubus’ intent. Much more than just a book about “where were you on September 10th, 2011?” this is masterful storytelling.



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