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Reason You’re Alive, The

A Vietnam vet's quest to make amends Author: Matthew Quick Matthew Quick’s eighth novel, The Reason You’re Alive, should be required reading for every American right now. With politics having splintered our country into “us” versus “them,” we often dismiss others because they hold differing convictions. It’s rare—and, frankly, discomfiting—to want to climb into someone else’s head and understand the basis for his or her beliefs. Yet this is what Quick demands of us in his book: he places us smack dab in the opinionated, profanity-laced mind of 68-year-old David Granger. Whether or not the reader agrees with David’s principles, [...]

August 17th, 2017|Tags: |

Touch

“People are ready—not tomorrow, but now—to be vulnerable and undirected and intimate again.” Author: Courtney Maum Courtney Maum’s second novel, Touch, is a wickedly smart story about technology’s pervasive hold on our lives—and about what makes us most human. Sloane Jacobsen is a 39-year-old world renowned trend forecaster. (Yes, this is a real thing; Maum herself has worked as one.) She has just started a six-month consulting project at a progressive company in Manhattan, charged with planning ReProduction, a summit to celebrate the voluntarily childless. Having been called “the Ultimate Anti-Mom” by British Vogue, Sloane seems to be the perfect [...]

August 17th, 2017|Tags: |

Chemistry

Losing it in the lab Author: Weike Wang In Weike Wang’s spare first novel, Chemistry, we are introduced to a young woman who is coming unhinged. She’s a whip-smart PhD candidate who tutors students in fluid dynamics and the properties of light, but she cannot identify or act on her own feelings to save her life. When the book begins, this young woman (who remains unnamed) has just received a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Eric. For various reasons, which Wang skillfully unspools over a taut 211 pages, Main Character declines. She loses Eric, her job, and her grip: “Eric [...]

August 14th, 2017|Tags: |