Shovels & Rope: Little Seeds

Yes, they've moved a bit beyond -- but not outgrown -- the "two beat up drums and two old guitars." But there is still the same urgency in the vocals and immediacy and rawness in the instruments. Only this time, there is more depth. And that might make Little Seeds their best offering yet.


The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is probably stuck forever is the "chick lit" subgenre, and that's a shame, because that's not what she writes. She writes good, contemporary fiction where the main characters and POV happen to be female. And if you're a dude and can't handle that, I don't know what to tell you. That said, The Hypnotist's Love Story is no What Alice Forgot. Sure, it's a nice way to spend a weekend. But it's not one of her better offerings.

The Assistants by Camille Perri: A Review

With its bite-sized chapters and breezy style, it's an easy book to pick up and put down, then pick back up again. The humor and pop culture references are more of the chuckle-to-yourself variety than the laugh-out-loud kind, but it's plenty funny enough.

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson: A Review

Julia Claiborne Johnson's first novel, Be Frank With Me, is the kind of book where "madcap hijinks" take place. It's meant to be a breezy read, a page turner, the kind of book you sit on the beach with. So, no, this is not great literature. The calamities are not terribly believable. But the book is fun.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: A Review

Self-dubbed "The Interestings," they are talented and ironic and oh-so...well, interesting. But then, aren't we all at 14?

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber: A Review

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber is the worst kind of book: a bloated, tiring read that is somehow just interesting enough to drag you along to the next page. In short: don't start this book. You'll regret it.