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If a book has won an award, Gina has probably read it. She loves classics, literary fiction, and contemporary fiction. To escape, she reads big fantasy novels and cookbooks. Gina recommends...
Disappearing Earth by
This book begins with a tense chapter about two sisters playing on a hot August day in northern Russia before they are abducted. What follows are beautifully written vignettes about local women affected by the girls' disappearance. The reader gets compelling snippets of the search for the girls and a fabulous New Year's party, a dance student's affair, a woman's tragic search for her dog, and more.
Nothing to See Here by
A surprise favorite; I picked this up on a whim and couldn't put it down! Down-on-her luck Lillian is called to visit her rich friend Madison. She is happy to reconnect with Madison but Madison has a strange request: for Lillian to be the caregiver for her new stepchildren who erupt into flames if they get upset. These children are little terrors but, then again, so is Lillian.
Such a Fun Age by
I still can't stop thinking about this page-turner; the reading experience is somehow light and easy, yet the characters have depth and the author does a superb job of illuminating tough issues of race and perspective. The book opens with a racially charged incident that occurs when a Black babysitter takes her charge to a fancy grocery store in a mostly white neighborhood. The rest of the book deals with the white mother trying to make things up to the babysitter with some surprising twists.
Spinning Silver by
An imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted. These two books by Novik are the best fantasy novels I have read in years.
I recommend this book to everyone who asks for a recommendation and I don't know anyone who hasn't loved it. Two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies through subsequent generations marked by wealth, slavery, war, coal-mining, the Great Migration, and 20th-century Harlem.