“This Is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel

Subtitle: A Novel

Recommended to me by: a friend

A wonderful multi-layered novel about a doctor, her poet-husband, and their five kids, the youngest of whom insists on wearing dresses. The family brims with love and wackiness as they struggle with the many dilemmas of being themselves. They shelter their youngest member as best […]

“My Brother’s Husband” by Gengoroh Tagame

Translated from the Japanese by Anne Ishii

Recommended to me by: Yatima in the 50 books by POC community

Yatima found this graphic novel via its blurb by Alison Bechdel and recommended it enthusiastically. I loved it too.

Mike Flanagan, Canadian white guy, visits his dead husband’s brother and niece in Japan. They are […]

“Under Plum Lake” by Lionel Davidson

I wish I could find the post that recommended this book to me strongly enough to put it on hold at the library. When it showed up, it didn’t look like my kind of thing, but it’s short and pulled me through all the way to the end.

It’s a portal fantasy as a […]

“When the Moon Was Ours” by Anna-Marie McLemore

Recommended to me by: 2016 James Tiptree Jr. Award winner

Sensual language about food, aromas, colors, and landscapes that reminds me of “Like Water for Chocolate.” Wise, foolish, loving, cruel, growing, changing young people, sometimes with too much teen angst for my taste. Matter-of-fact bodies and sexuality, both cis and trans, gay and straight, […]

“The Thirteen Clocks” by James Thurber

Recommended to me by: My college roommate

In times of extreme stress, my college roommate gathered a group of us together and read aloud this delightful, illustrated, untraditional fairytale. She tracked down a used copy for me, and it is one of my treasured possessions.

As an antidote to extreme election anxiety, I read […]

“Summerlong” by Peter Beagle

Recommended to me by: It’s by Peter Beagle!

This book is about relationships between real, complicated people, enfolded in Peter Beagle’s usual shining language and richly detailed settings, this time in Seattle. Like the people in his older book “The Folk of the Air,” they interact with the numinous, and suffer for it. I […]

“Walking with Ramona” by Laura O. Foster

Subtitle: Exploring Beverly Cleary’s Portland

A 3 mile walking tour of Beverly Cleary’s neighborhood, starting at the statues of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins and Ribsy at Grant Park. The directions are easy to follow and the information is carefully researched and entertainingly presented. The neighborhood itself is full of gorgeous old houses and […]

“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

Recommended to me by: Eric Roberts

A fantasy novel based on Eastern European folk tales, but going in a direction all its own. The main character is a young woman, and there are other women with agency in the book. Unfortunately it is still a feudal social structure with a king and a male […]

“The Other Wind” by Ursula K Le Guin

I read this back when it originally came out in 2001. I remembered the overall story arc and the spectacular image of Tehanu at the end, but none of the details at all. It was great to have a visit with Ged and Tenar and Tehanu, but the characters felt oddly distant, not emotionally […]

“Voices” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Recommended to me by: adrian-turtle on dreamwidth.

This sequel to Gifts is much more comfortable to read. Rather than being about households polarized and divided by their powers, it is about a harshly occupied city where the people are known for “having peace in their bones.”

The city-dwellers are people of color, and the […]