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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

In as much as The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has problems – and it does – the verve of its main protagonist and backstory of the author makes up for it.

A Word About #FridayReads

Shortly after Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes last year and roasted his fellow celebrities, there was a disquieting feeling among his fans that maybe he wasn’t as interested in speaking Truth to Power as much as he was a bit of a jerk.

That’s how I’m feeling these days about Jennifer Weiner.

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

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Take two sisters, the setting of Silicon Valley, a handkerchief-twisting “will they or won’t they romance?” and the mystery of a collection of cookbooks. Add a heaping cup of literary references and a dash of Judaism, and you have The Cookbook Collector: A Novel

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

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Unfamiliar Fishes seems like it can't go wrong: after all, Sarah Vowell made me want to go visit sites of presidential assassinations.

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

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There’s something for both mothers and children in Please Look After Mom : mothers will feel grateful they don’t have selfish children and children will be glad to not have a martyr for a mother.

The Emperor of All Maladies

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There’s no doubt that Siddhartha Mukherjee absolutely deserved the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is a brilliant history of cancer, and a book that will change the way you think about a far-too-common disease.

The Long Goodbye

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Horror. That’s the dominant feeling I had reading Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye: A memoir .

The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan

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Friendships are always a balancing act—each person has a role, whether it’s providing a shoulder to cry on, remembering your past romantic mistakes, or being up for your latest harebrained activity. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a friend who fulfills all of these. In the The Art of Forgetting , Marisa and Julia are longtime soulmates.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

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Despite the gag-worthy sentence “Sometimes love does conquer all” on the jacket flap of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel , don’t be alarmed: Helen Simonson’s first novel is a no-nonsense, non-traditional British romance that will delight the reader.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

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While The Weird Sisters follows three sisters, deep down it’s a book about being a parent.

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