Min's Book Reviews

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The No-Show Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: May 18, 2022

Three women--quick-tempered Siobhan, tomboyish Miranda, and soft-spoken Jane--are brought together in Beth O'Leary's latest by the titular no-show boyfriend, who has ditched each one of them on their Valentine's Day plans. No-show Joseph Carter is kind, charismatic, and romantic, leaving readers to unravel the mystery of who he is and why he's been leading all three of them on. This romance-mystery is so clever and sweet, and the plot twist absolutely caught me off guard! 

All the Lovers in the Night Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: April 21, 2022

All The Lovers in the Night is a quiet and atmospheric story for rainy day readers. This simple story follows a young woman and her anxieties, and is traditionally Japanese in its contemplative and precise writing. I loved Mieko Kawakami's Breast and Eggs and Heaven, but this one may be my favorite by her! Translators: Sam Bett and David Boyd. 

Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: September 25, 2021

Young people navigating friendships and romance and work and life and identifying beauty and intimacy in the ordinary? Though it may not sound all that different from Normal People and Conversations, this book felt like a mature departure from Rooney's previous works. Even more so than her others, Beautiful World is precise, perceptive, and profound. I loved the multi-perspective structure and was invested in each of the four characters I met — they were funny and familiar and not always likable, but lovable. For Rooney fans, skeptics, and strangers, consider picking up her newest! 

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Oprah's Book Club Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: August 28, 2021

“We are the earth, the land. The tongue that speaks and trips on the names of the dead as it dares to tell these stories of a woman’s line. Her people and her dirt, her trees, her water.”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

Spanning from the pre-slavery era of the 1700s to the late 20th century, this debut novel from Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a feat in sweeping intergenerational storytelling, covering both the breadth and depth of the complex African-American history with which she deals. Centered around one young black girl, Ailey Garfield, and her Southern family's lineage tracing back several centuries, Jeffers' masterpiece of historical fiction is rich, intersectional, and just as lyrical as her poetry. For lovers for historical family sagas such as Homegoing, Pachinko, and The Dutch House, this novel is worth reading every word - the page count seems daunting, but the experience of reading this novel was rare and extraordinary and by the end, went by too quickly. — Min

If On A Winter's Night A Traveler Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: July 17, 2021

"You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveller. Relax. Let the world around you fade."

This is a story about a collection of misprinted stories entitled If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, which all end abruptly at the moment of highest suspense, and you, the reader, who encounters other readers like yourself who have the same misprinted, disjointed copy - and in your quest to find the true ending of If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, you create your own story. I loved the story nestled within another story, and what Calvino had to say about fiction and how we experience it.  

The Cave Dwellers Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: May 18, 2021

Cave Dwellers opens with a scene inspired by the Mansion Murders of 2015, and from there, the story only continues to spiral down a scathing, satirical exploration of the uber-privileged elitists of Washington D.C. Power-hungry politicans, formidable families of immense influence and wealth, and caricatures of familiar real-world figures make for a bitingly funny and honest read, with elements of a murder mystery and political satire. 

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome Cover Image
Reviewed by: Min
Posted: April 17, 2021

"Whenever there was a transformative moment in Roman history, there was a murder.” For lovers of Roman history, true crime, and dry humor, Emma Southon examines the relativity of the Roman concept of murder and how it infiltrated every area of life -- politics, entertainment, slavery, and royalty. I have been historically afraid of reading historical nonfiction, but Emma Southon presents a fresh perspective with a more readable levity, like two old friends having a conversation.