The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan: This book can be summed up in one passage: "It was not the sea that was cruel, but the people." The novel was entertaining enough, but it was on the predictable side and didn't offer anything I haven't read before. If I could go back and read it again, I wouldn't.
My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly La Force (art by Jane Mount): I found this one at Half Price Books and scooped it up immediately. It was so much fun to read about the favorite books of Dave Eggers, Judd Apatow, and Patti Smith, among others; the books that shaped them and those that helped them grow and rethink the world around them. Best of all, it got me thinking about my own ideal bookshelf.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole: I didn't know much about this novel before I picked it up, with the exception of the incredible story behind its publication. Turns out, I was in for quite the treat. Ignatius J. Reilly is obnoxious and crude and utterly hilarious. This book had be laughing out loud - a lot. Fortuna was on my side when a friend gifted me this novel a few months back. I am also traveling to New Orleans in May and I'm so happy to have read this before my trip.
Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner: This book kept popping up on "Favorite Love Story" lists around Valentine's Day and I'm so glad it fell on my radar. This is a sweet, charming love story about two Russian children who meet in ESL class and are forever connected. Tanner writers in simple language and a fresh voice; you could probably finish this one in a day if you wanted to.