A Reading Life

5 Favorite Novels of 2018: A Critic’s Choices

BEST OF 2018

5 Favorite Novels of 2018: A Critic’s Choices

By Katherine A. Powers ×

Five works of fiction worth moving to the top of even a very large to-read pile.
The Personality Brokers

PSYCHOLOGY

The Personality Brokers

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

How a mother-daughter team invented a new way of thinking about the self, and spawned an industry of personality testing.
A Life of My Own

A READING LIFE

A Life of My Own

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

A celebrated biographer applies her searching eye to her own life -- one of literary achievement shadowed by tragedy.
The Last Cruise

FICTION

The Last Cruise

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

In the latest novel from the author of "The Great Man," cruise ship voyagers looking for escape find the opposite.
Mr Flood’s Last Resort

FICTION

Mr Flood’s Last Resort

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

Mysteries abound in Jess Kidd's story of an antique dealer's enigmatic past.
Convenience Store Woman

FICTION

Convenience Store Woman

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

In Sayaka Murata's "wonderfully strange" novel, the regimented cheer of a convenience store is one character's dream job.
The Sparsholt Affair

A READING LIFE

The Sparsholt Affair

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

The author of "The Line of Beauty" traces a mystery across three generations of gay life in Britain.
Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir

A READING LIFE

Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

The award-winning Irish novelist delivers a memoir that is also a "tribute and guide" to the Dublin of his youth.
Peculiar Ground

A READING LIFE

Peculiar Ground

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

A series of events that stretch over four centuries are knit together by the grounds of a mysterious English estate.
A Critic’s Picks: Five Best Novels of 2017

BEST OF 2017

A Critic’s Picks: Five Best Novels of 2017

By Katherine A. Powers ×

Our reviewer selects five outstanding novels from a year of challenging news and great fiction.
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

A READING LIFE

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

The history behind the beloved Little House books was one of endurance and suffering -- and family myth and infighting too.
Reservoir 13

A READING LIFE

Reservoir 13

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

A tragic local mystery is just the starting point for Jon McGregor's ambitious novel, in which the human and natural worlds carry equal weight. Review by Katherine A. Powers.