Normal People is an apt title for a book focusing on unspectacular events involving unremarkable characters. A simplistic and superficial reading could call it a love story. However, those elements belie the true heart of the novel: a psychological and emotional exploration of what draws and keeps two people together. Upon introduction to the alternating narrators, Connell and Marianne, Rooney establishes a complex and nuanced power... (read more)Recommended by Melissa A.
July's world is insular and bizarre, her characters socially inept and awkward, her story and prose stunningly original. At once a character study of a borderline recluse and a parade of unsettling relationships. Recommended by Melissa A.
An underappreciated author writing about an oft-overlooked topic in the literature surrounding wars: the spaces between. Our narrator finds a way to Marseille amidst the horror of WWII, having escaped two concentration camps. However, those events are mere contextual backdrop for a philosophical and psychological journey into a seemingly endless and futile cycle of paperwork required not only to leave, but to stay; exits depend on a willingness... (read more)Recommended by Melissa A.
A stark, sci-fi-esque novel blending in elements of Middle East versus West politics, technology, religion, and philosophy — all done in Delillo's signature precision and brevity. I'll call it science fiction for the poet in all of us. Recommended by Melissa A.