My Bookshelf

I love to read, and I love to share the books I read. Here are some books that climbed inside me.

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Thanks,
Jill

Unless

Unless

A wise, good humored book about feminism, and writing, and language, and goodness. Unless is a novel about the many kinds of otherness.

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The Accidental

The Accidental

The Accidental is circular and complicated, and explores multiple voices and perspectives with disconcerting ease. I was deeply involved with these characters, even when I didn’t want to be.

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Book of Ages

Book of Ages

Benjamin Franklin wrote more letters to his sister Jane than to anyone else. This historical nonfiction by Jill Lepore explores the literary remains of a woman who lived in one of the most turbulent times in America. With actual lives, the book examines Virginia Woolf's provocative treatise: If Shakespeare had had a sister, what would her life have been like?

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Fugitive Pieces

Fugitive Pieces

What is the landscape of survival? Anne Michaels’ book fuses poetry and narrative, and creates a map of earth and soul. A wrenching, tremendously valuable novel. One where you pause, and savor, and are changed.

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Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia

A delightful, unapologetic book.

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Dept of Speculation

Dept of Speculation

Jenny Offill's novel is a rare treat -- lean and lyrical -- a peculiar portrait of a marriage, at once restrained and filled with raw, honest beauty.

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The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit

The best stories are surprising and inevitable. The Queen’s Gambit is such a story. Fragile, and ruthless, and honest — the deep and terrifying mystery of genius.

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Cultural Amnesia

Cultural Amnesia

An astonishing collection of essays: anti-establishment, insightful, tough-minded. When I read Cultural Amnesia I felt tethered to all the world.

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Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity

Elizabeth Wein's novel is such a compelling read that you find yourself enduring situations so taut and subtle that you hold your breath paragraph after paragraph. A pilot and a spy in World War II, the story follows two young women on a mission in occupied France.

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The Little Women

The Little Women

Katharine Weber’s novel The Little Women explores the aftermath of parental betrayal, and the cannibalizing of personal details by an author, and the life of characters on and off the page. For me, the novel expands into fascinating layers of metafiction.

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Magician’s Assistant

Magician’s Assistant

Patchett’s prose is hard and tender and feels like love. The Magician’s Assistant is a book to savor.

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy Fowler's wit is wild. I've lost track of the number of times I've read The Jane Austen Book Club. But this novel is another thing entirely. A story about family, memory, primates, sisters, jealousy, science. I'm not sure I have read a book more perfectly executed than this one. It's about story, yes, but so much more. It's about everything all at once.

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