Story Tags

Image of Pachinko book cover

Set in Japan

As a group, these novels do not have one thing in common, other than all being set in Japan. Most, but not all, were written by Japanese authors. Most, but not all, were written in the 20th century. Most, but not all, are narrated by a female character. All of them are commendable though, and I learned something about Japanese history or culture from each one.

Image of Perfect Little World book cover

It Takes a Village?

Fiction that explores communal living experiments

If humanity could restart society from scratch, what would we prioritize, what would we reconsider, and how would we position ourselves to thrive? The following novels all consider these questions via their portrayals of characters whose answers have at their cores a belief in the value of living communally -- and who have created or are taking part in living situations that reflect this belief.

Stranger Tides

Take to the Seas!

Nautical Novels & Nonfiction

They say that the sea is a cruel mistress, harsh and fickle. But she is also alluring, holding a beautiful, spellbinding power over many of us that can define entire lives, communities and even empires. Whether you like to keep a respectful distance from the shore or dive headfirst under the waves, it’s hard to deny the power of a good sea song. Below are a few titles that capture the mystery, danger, and grandeur of the ocean, from heart-wrenching to historical, fact to fantasy.  

The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

Add a Little Magic

Novels with a pinch (and sometimes a cup) of magic

Much like the rich tradition of magical realism across the Caribbean and the Americas, the literary use of magic of all forms in everyday settings is alive and well across the world.

We Kiss Them with Rain cover

Continent Hop from Your Couch

Can’t get away for the summer? Not able to travel internationally this year? Continent hop around the world without leaving your couch with these books set around the world.  

Image of The Misfortune of Marion Palm book cover

The Con is On

Fiction for the "Summer of Scam"

Con artists, grifters and scammers of all kinds are having a moment this summer, leading this year’s warm weather months to be dubbed the Summer of Scam.

Smashed Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas

Young Women, Real Lives

The experience of being a young woman is its own, whatever other challenges or interests go along with it.  Whether examining nature, negotiating the context of promiscuity or alcoholism, creating meaningful relationships with other women, or simply existing, these eight titles explore that experience with a sharp eye, some leading the reader to laughter and others to tears.

Bitter in the Mouth

Worlds Where Senses Mix, Part Two

Explorations of Synesthesia in Adult and Teen Fiction

The last few decades have seen a resurgence of interest in synesthesia, the neurological condition in which a stimulus of one sense involuntarily evokes another sense (such as hearing colors or tasting words). Not only has synesthesia become a well-developed area of research within neuroscience, but many new works of literature, along with new attention on certain older works, have broadened awareness of this fascinating phenomenon.

Image of Eleven Hours book cover

New Life

Fiction about childbirth and new motherhood

A transformative experience, becoming a mother can reshape one’s life and alter one in a variety of ways—physically, mentally, emotionally and more.

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