If there’s ever a time when a comic novel should be in your “to read” pile it’s now, and I’ve got just the book for you. In The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher we return to some characters you will recognize from Schumacher’s hilarious novel, Dear Committee Members. Professor Jason Fitger is now the besieged head of the English Department at Payne University. His fellow faculty, students and university administrators are undoubtedly recognizable, whether you are an academic or not. Clever, smart and good for giggles, this novel is sure to be one you come back to again and again when a good laugh is in order.
A Place for Us is an unforgettable novel about an Indian couple who comes to America and raises their three children in California. They are part of a devout religious Muslim community where being practicing believers is more important than just about anything else. Their way of life sustains and shapes them and also tears them apart. Told from multiple view points and over decades, the novel’s themes of parenting, loss, heartbreak and love will grab you on every page and leave you astounded. Fatima Farheen Mirza is a writer to watch. I can’t wait to see what comes next from this extraordinary talent.
Varina is a haunting and beautifully written historical novel about Varina Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. It traces her escape from Richmond with her children, her life before meeting her much older and already widowed husband, and her turbulent years after the war including her many losses and struggles. She was truly a fascinating woman who lived during a time of great tragedy, change and upheaval. Frazier includes so many interesting historical tidbits throughout the novel and reading Varina is a pure delight.