Animal Dreams

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Book cover of Animal Dreams

Book description

Set in the southwestern mining town of Grace, Arizona, this novel revolves around Codi, her sister Hallie and their severe and distant father, Doc Homer. The author has previously written "The Bean Trees" and "Homeland", the latter a collection of short stories.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Animal Dreams as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The ‘crime’ in Animal Dreams is a legal technicality, and this is a literary contemporary novel rather than a crime one, but its narrative drive comes from the same need to untangle the past to set the characters free (or as free as they can be) in the present.

The writing is glorious – rich, deep, surprising, layered – reaching levels of technical mastery that few other writers even glimpse. There are several point-of-view characters and, unlike most books with this structure, Kingsolver wrings every last drop of drama and interest from the nuances this offers.

Instead of longing to…

I’ve read Animal Dreams eight times, and each time I connect with the protagonist, Codi, as strongly as I did the first time. Codi is returning home to Grace, Arizona, partly because she has no idea what to do with her life, partly because her father isn’t well, and partly because she has unfinished business to tend to, though she doesn’t let herself acknowledge that. She’s an expert at running away from the truths she’s buried and the people who could expose them, but her façade shatters when she returns to Grace, a world barren and fertile and unforgettable. Why…

From Cheryl's list on people grappling with the past.

Book cover of This Animal Body

Meredith Walters

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Neuroscience PhD student Frankie Conner has finally gotten her life together—she’s determined to discover the cause of her depression and find a cure for herself and everyone like her. But the first day of her program, she meets a group of talking animals who have an urgent message they refuse to share. And while the animals may not have Frankie’s exalted human brain, they know things she doesn’t, like what happened before she was adopted.

To prove she’s sane, Frankie investigates her forgotten past and conducts clandestine experiments. But just when she uncovers the truth, she has to make an impossible choice: betray the animals she’s fallen in love with—or give up her last chance at success and everything she thought she knew.

By Meredith Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Animal Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Frankie Conner, first-year graduate student at UC Berkeley, is finally getting her life together. After multiple failures and several false starts, she's found her calling: become a neuroscientist, discover the cause of her depression and anxiety, and hopefully find a cure for herself and everyone like her.

But her first day of the program, Frankie meets a mysterious group of talking animals who claim to have an urgent message for her. The problem is, they're not willing to share it. Not yet. Not until she's ready.

While Frankie's new friends may not have her highly evolved, state-of-the-art, exalted human brain,…


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