Beth Andersen

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Remarkably Bright Creatures

Poet and short story writer Van Pelt has written an irresistibly wonderful, warm, funny, heartbreaking first novel, full of gentle people (and one octopus) bravely powering through their individual scars left by lives that have beaten them up but have not brought them down.

Seven Steeples

Award-winning novelist Baume’s gifts as a visual artist can be seen not only in the poetry of her majestic words but also in her creative use of spacing that enhances this lovely novel that is made for this time in history of pandemic-triggered isolation.

Mercy Street

Haigh (Baker Towers), an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author, holds her readers captive from first to last page with an unflinching look at the human tragedies that lie behind every layer of the never-ending controversial national abortion battle. Her piercing character portrayals and eavesdrop-quality dialogue will have readers asking for her previous works.

The School for Good Mothers

Chan’s stunning debut could not be timelier, leaving no stone unturned in its allusion to the real-life legal assaults constraining women today. Part-dystopian, part-prescient, impossible to put down and impossible to forget.


Correction Notice: In the original review LJ incorrectly named Frida’s daughter Muriel. The character’s name is Harriet. We regret the error. 


The Hummingbird

Veronesi has penned a powerful Shakespearean tale of one man’s life, filled with tragedy, loss, and star-crossed love. A cautionary tale for our turbulent times, exquisitely rendered by translator Pala; Veronesi’s final chapter is sure to garner much examination as a prescient warning of what may lie ahead.


As a 25-year-old, Jestin stunned France with this debut novel, which captured the prestigious Prix Femina des Lycéens in 2019. Six years out from his teen years, he had forgotten nothing about the messiness of adolescence and how quickly bad choices can turn to tragedy. From its first sentence to its last, this short novel packs an outsize, unforgettable punch.

The Stone Loves the World

Hall’s latest novel about these brilliant characters, who are all tangled up in multiple battles between their off-the-charts IQs and their uncomfortable but determined need to find meaningful relationships, will lead readers on a glorious literary ride. Prepare for demand for his 1996 prequel The Saskiad, about 12-year-old Saskia’s life on a commune.

Rock the Boat

First-time novelist Dorey-Stein has written the perfect beach read, filled with delicious heart and meaty observations about knotty relationship issues and offering surprises and delights with every chapter. Expect renewed interest in her 2018 memoir of her career as a White House stenographer, From the Corner of the Oval.


The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Readers will know by page two that sharp-tongued, funny, brave Lenni will break their heart, and that they’ll be all in for the ride. Rich for its cast of characters unique in their messiness, humanity, and kindness, debut author Cronin’s masterpiece won’t let go, long after the last page.

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