Book: The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty

What’s the most frightening thing that can happen to a traveler, aside from a medical catastrophe or natural disaster? Likely, it’s losing your passport, identification and money, especially ...

Book: An Aegean April

Powerful entrepreneurs — you could call them “criminals” — have figured out a way to make loads of money off the refugees fleeing Syria and other countries via the Mediterranean ...

The Gunners / Rebecca Kauffman

I liked Rebecca Kauffman’s “The Gunners,” a story about lifelong friends who get together after several years to attend the funeral of one of their group. I really did. Not as much, ...

Book: Educated

In one of her first college classes, Tara Westover came upon a word she didn’t recognize in the description of a painting being projected onto a screen by her humanities professor. She raised her ...

Book: The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter

When she and her husband were having their house built, Ingrid told the contractor to omit the shower stall listed on the bathroom plans. A tub would suffice, she figured, and there would be plenty of ...

Donut King / Ted Ngoy

Don’t expect recipes when you pick up Ted Ngoy’s memoir, “The Donut King.” And don’t assume a light-hearted romp, either. Ngoy, who fled his native Cambodia because of the ...

Book: The Nakano Thrift Shop

Hitomi, the protagonist in Hiromi Kawakami's novel, "The Nakano Thrift Shop," is a clerk in a used-goods store. Her boss, Nakano, and young assistant, Takeo, regularly travel to community members' homes ...

Book: A Man Called Ove

Ove is the kind of man who does what’s right, no matter what the consequences or costs to himself. People — especially beleaguered salespeople and government officials — often overlook ...

Book: Perennials

“Family first” has always been the motto for Eva “Lovey” Sutherland, her parents and sister, Bitsy. Yet Eva always felt slighted — Bitsy is cruel to her, cutting down her ...

Book: Crooked Hearts

Tom Warren drops out of college in the 1970s, he returns to Yuma, Arizona, to find his family’s home decorated for a party. No surprise — the Warrens always celebrate following a tragedy or ...

Book: "Sleeper

Leslie Glass opens her complex and suspenseful novel, “Sleeper,” with a trip into Yamhill County wine country. Two University of Oregon students cruise the Dundee hills, passing vineyards ...

Book: Gifted

Parts of John Daniel’s novel, “Gifted,” are beautifully written, especially when he is describing the complex natural beauty of Oregon’s Coast Range and the nascent philosophy of ...

Reyna Grande / The Distance Between Us, Young Readers Edition

Reyna Grande has quite a story, and she tells it well in the young readers’ edition of her memoir, “The Distance Between Us.” I’m eager to also read — and compare — ...

Book: The Blackbird Season

Hometown boy Nate Winters is the most popular teacher and coach in a small Pennsylvania town. Until, that is, a scheming reporter snaps a photo of him hugging a troubled student outside a seedy motel. ...

Book: The Other Side of Everything

Lauren Doyle Owens’ debut novel, "The Other Side of Everything," shows a lot of promise. She develops some interesting characters, particularly Bernard, one of the seniors who've lived and loved ...

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