Author Spotlight: J. Courtney Sullivan

Every year I read dozens of debut novels by writers coming into their own and making their mark. I also happily devour the newest offerings from the established authors I follow. However, it is an infrequent and exciting occurrence when I read a new novel written by an author who has an entire backlist of books I have yet to explore! This happened recently with one of my new (to me) favorite writers: J. Courtney Sullivan.

Sullivan’s new book, Saints for All Occasions, seemed like a perfect fit for me: big, Irish-Catholic family, secrets, sisters, and heartbreak. I started reading and by page 15 I was wondering how I had been missing out on this wonderful writer for the past 8 years! After devouring the next 350 pages, I checked out two of Sullivan’s earlier novels: Maine (my absolute favorite) and Commencement (her fantastic debut). I’m saving The Engagements for a rainy day.


Don’t miss out on this author! Come to OWL and check out any (or all) of her 4 books today.

You’re welcome. 😉

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov



“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” One of the most memorable first lines in literature followed by a haunting, beautifully written novel that the author has referred to as his love letter to the English language.

For more stunning fiction by Russian authors, check these out:

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

*PS–The audiobook of Lolita (read by Jeremy Irons) is phenomenal. FYI. 😉

Accidents in the Home by Tessa Hadley


Clare Menges is a young, suburban wife and mother who has it all together, then how is it so easy for her world to be turned upside-down by her friends’ lover? Is she destined to repeat all the same patterns and mistakes her family members have made in the past?

Precise, considered, and intricate, Tessa Hadley’s prose is the perfect vehicle for the complexities and discoveries Clare unlocks about her family and herself.

For more books that explore themes of family, betrayal, and the tangled webs we weave, check out these novels:

Life Drawing by Robin Black

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor