June 8, 2012 In the 2008 financial crash, a lot was written in newspapers and even books — but there wasn't much fiction out there to help those who like to view life through an imaginative lens. Now author John Lanchester's Capital can fill that void. It describes the crash as seen from London, and Lizzie Skurnick calls it "brilliant."
June 22, 2010 That diploma you worked so hard for can come with a lot of pressure. No worries, class of 2010. Lizzie Skurnick recommends three books about what happens when a diploma is followed by disaster.
October 26, 2009 Michelle Huneven's new novel — featuring a repeat-offender drunk driver who kills a mother and daughter — raises questions about self determination and fate.
September 24, 2009 In Joyce Maynard's Labor Day, a mysterious stranger enters the life of a single mother and her son for a holiday weekend. Apart from being a successful thriller, the book is a fascinating portrait of what causes a family to founder, and how much it can cost to put it back on the right path.
August 27, 2009 In Rhino Ranch, Larry McMurtry returns to his lighter side and his recurring protagonist, Duane Moore. The gentle comedy tracks the once-powerful oilman as he adjusts to his own retirement and to the changes a new nature preserve brings to his small Texas town.
June 19, 2009 Danzy Senna's poet mother was a Boston Brahmin, her father the son of a black piano player and a Mexican boxer. Her memoir, in which she examines her family history, is part detective story, part the story of a nation.
April 21, 2009 It's hard to look at the perpetually dissatisfied sophisticates in Caitlin Macy's Spoiled and not see a nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her stories demonstrate not only Fitzgerald's wit and insight, but deep empathy for her subjects.
March 27, 2009 This clever, poignant spoof tells the story of a relationship gone wrong in the form of a precisely annotated auction catalog that puts the detritus of a love affair — notes, photos, keepsakes — up for sale.
March 23, 2009 Eula Biss' dazzling leaps and odd juxtapositions have the knack of seeming brilliant and obvious at the same time. Notes from No Man's Land collects forceful, beautiful essays that examine race through a frame of reference both personal and wide-ranging.
March 3, 2009 Not always nice, the characters in The Piano Teacher are always interesting. The novel tells a romantic tale of smoky mysteries, near misses, two-faced villains and secretive lovers.
February 11, 2009 In this smart and funny follow-up to his previous story collections, The Book of Ralph (2004) and America's Report Card (2006), John McNally revels in a gallery of Midwestern misfits and their stories of hard-luck love.
December 29, 2008 If previous years' bookshelves were crowded with woeful tales of single living, 2008 marked the year of marriage; even Anna Karenina, the ne plus ultra of domestic dissatisfaction, got back into the act, returning as a resident of Rego Park in Irina Reyn's What Happened to Anna K.