Big fiction releases this May...Richard Russo's follow-up to his 1993 novel, Nobody's Fool and a new novel by popular author Laura Lippmann top the lists.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Gift a book..They never go out of style!


Wilde Lake

Wilde Lake
Laura Lippmann
There's something amiss in the planned community of Wilde Lake, Maryland, where Luisa (Lu) Brant has taken over the state's attorney position long held by her widowed father.
With echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lu is drawn back to a 1980 case in which an African-American student was accused of raping a white girl at a high school graduation party. Lippman spins the threads of this multigenerational story in an uncanny way. Highly recommended.
(Review by

Everybody's Fool

Richard Russo

When Doug Raymer, chief of police of the forlornly depressed town of North Bath, N.Y., falls into an open grave during a funeral service, it is only the first of many farcical and grisly incidents in Russo's shaggy dog story of revenge and redemption. Among the comical set pieces that propel the narrative are a poisonous snakebite, a falling brick wall, and a stigmatalike hand injury. North Bath, as readers of Nobody's Fool will remember, is the home of Sully Sullivan, the hero of the previous book and also a character here.

 Self-conscious, self-deprecating, and convinced he's everybody's fool, Raymer is obsessed with finding the man his late wife was about to run off with when she fell down the stairs and died. He's convinced that the garage door opener he found in her car will lead him to her lover's home. 

Meanwhile, he pursues an old feud with Sully; engages in repartee with his clever assistant and her twin brother; and tries to arrest a sociopath whose preferred means of communication are his fists. The remaining circle of ne'er-do-wells, ex-cons, daily drunks, deadbeats, and thieves behave badly enough to keep readers chuckling. The give-and-take of rude but funny dialogue is Russo's trademark, as is his empathy for down-and-outer.

Read the review in The May 7th Sunday New York Times.


Everyone one is raving about The Nest, a debut novel by Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney. It's Amazon's pick for Best of the Month and also tops the New York Times bestseller list.. Go figure! I abandoned it about half way through, so I gave it a decent shot. 

In my opinion, don't waste your time! It's so predictable and cliche with poorly drawn characters, over-writing that was cringe worthy and a complete lack of flow. 

My advice is leave The Nest!


I loved The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom and her new release focuses on the same  family as they fight for a meaningful and free life. Critics are calling Glory Over Everything an unforgettable historical drama filled with shocking secrets and compelling characters. This is a stand-alone novel and is hopefully as good as the first...

I just completed this book and found it very disappointing...almost on the level of a soap opera. The story line is weak and where near as good as The Kitchen House. Even the familiar characters lost their impact.....Don't bother.....

Glory Over Everything

Jamie Pyke, the son of a plantation owner and a slave, leaves everything he knows behind after he kills his father. When he arrives in Philadelphia, he begins passing as white and starts to build a new free life for himself. He becomes a wealthy silversmith and falls passionately for a married woman named Caroline. But the fragile peace he’s found doesn’t last. Caroline becomes pregnant, and Jamie fears that the truth of his heritage will come out and ruin them both. Then his servant is captured and sold into slavery. Once again, Jamie decides to risk everything he has. He travels south to rescue his servant Pan, and hopes he can make things right with Caroline when he returns. This is a stand-alone novel, but fans of Kathleen Grissom’s The Kitchen House will especially appreciate the chance to read about beloved characters like Jamie again.

And from Goodreads a personal note from the author....

Dear Joyce,

I’ve completed my second novel, Glory Over Everything and I simply can’t wait for you to read it and to hear what you think!

It’s 1830 and Jamie, Belle’s son from The Kitchen House, has assumed the identity of a wealthy Philadelphia aristocrat, passing as white. Compelled by a promise he made to the man who saved his life when he was a runaway slave, Jamie is led back to Virginia, down to North Carolina and into the treacherous Underground Railroad.

What made the publication of The Kitchen House so special for me were the personal conversations I had with so many of you. You shared so openly with me how the characters touched you. So now, I present to you Jamie and his extended family in Glory Over Everything. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

With deepest gratitude, 


I love to receive comments from blog readers. Recently I received emails from two interesting women who are enthusiastic and intrepid readers. Their opinions are definitely worth noting.

Hi Joyce,
Glad to get your blog again. I have to recommend the French author Michel Houellebecq's Submission. It is the rage in France. It deals with timely issues of ethnic differences, racism, feminism, immigrants, Muslim threat and is both satirical and comic.  The crux of the book is the loss of meaning and values  in society. I suggest it!
Evelyn K.

      Over the winter I read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. The second third and fourth books were outstanding - the first “My Brilliant Friend”  was not as good  -  unlike the others, it rambled.
At the moment I'm 200 pages into Garth Hallberg’s  800+ page, “City of Fire” and am absolutely loving it. Of course it will take forever to read it.

       You may be interested to know that the towns of the lower Cape are having a community read with multiple discussions of Atul Gawande’s  book “Being Mortal”  It is a “must” read, especially for our generation.
             Am looking forward to some recommendations from your blog to add to my list of future reads.
Nancy B.


Anna Quindlen is a prize winning author and I can't wait to read her latest book titled Miller's Valley.
She recently posted this note on, a site for avid readers. If you're not a member, join now...

Anna Quindlen's birthday is the same day as my mother's...maybe that's why I feel a kinship with her writings...

Dear Reader,
Sometimes readers ask me what happened afterwards: after the last chapter, the last sentence. What happened to Robert after  Black and Blue was over? I always say the same thing: I leave when you do. What I know about these people is in these pages.
I left Miller’s Valley some months ago, when I read it through one last time, got to the last sentence, “I still need to breathe,” and stopped. I hate to reread my own work—all I can see are the motes, not the light—but I find a last sentence very satisfying, particularly since I always know it when it’s arrived. Bang, like the sound of a door slamming shut.
The great thing about pub day is that I get to return to Miller’s Valley, to reprise its themes, its settings, and its fantastic characters, whom I really miss. And I get to hear what readers see in it all. Sometimes I think I learn as much from hearing people discuss my work as I do by creating it. A book is a conversation: until pub date I’ve only heard one side, and it’s always interesting to finally hear the other.
I can’t wait to hear what you all think of Miller’s Valley.