Book Buzz: Warlight

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje The minute you scan the first line of Michael Ondaatje’s graceful novel Warlight you are aware that you’re in the hands of a master storyteller. His prose is spare but specific: “In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.” … Read more

Book Buzz: The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett When writing her new novel, The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett never dreamed its subject matter would be so timely at publication. The book opens in 1968 against the backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and the civil unrest that followed, and is a brilliant exploration of race, gender … Read more

Book Buzz: The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton Escapism seems to be in order these days, and sometimes a twisty mystery is just the ticket for engrossing distraction. Stuart Turton’s inventive 2018 whodunnit, The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, is more like a who-what-when-where-how-dunnit. It’s been billed as … Read more

Book Buzz: The Dutch House

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Bel Canto, the exquisite novel about an opera singer and a dozen guests held hostage at a South American embassy, came out in 2001 and left such a positive impression in my memory that every time I see a new Ann Patchett title I check it out from the … Read more

Book Buzz: What It’s Like to Be a Bird

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing: What Birds are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley One of the things I’ve enjoyed about being home so much during Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive is setting up bird feeders and spending time birdwatching. Resulting questions about bird … Read more

Book Buzz: Seveneves

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson For a brief moment on Sat., May 30, the world’s attention soared beyond the earth, following the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon on its first manned mission. There were high-fives and cheers, and a feeling of excitement and possibility. Then came breaking news from Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, and elsewhere, … Read more

Book Buzz: The Truffle Underground

The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus by Ryan McMahon Jacobs Authors and publishers have learned that if you add a lengthy, intriguing subtitle to your book, you increase the chances of someone picking it up. Investigative journalist Ryan Jacobs put this … Read more

Book Buzz: Greenwood

Greenwood by Michael Christie Like the rings of a mighty tree, Michael Christie’s recent novel Greenwood spans generations, telling the story of a family whose lives are inextricably connected with trees and who are often at odds with each other—among them a lumber tycoon father, his eco-activist daughter, and her carpenter son. It’s 2038, and Jacinda “Jake” … Read more

Book Buzz: Pandemic Fiction

Playing the board game Pandemic recently, it was oddly comforting to have a role in eradicating the virus and fighting the good fight with our team of scientists, researchers and first responders. Thinking about the experience, I realized I’ve been feeling the impulse to read some pandemic fiction, even though that subject matter isn’t my … Read more