Time for some summer reading recommendations! Summer is traditionally a time for light beach reads--romances, mysteries, and such. But when I was teaching, summer break was when I’d have time to finally tackle the longer, more heavy duty tomes. If that’s your habit as well, you might want to curl up in an air-conditioned room … Continue reading Beach Reads??!!
Hello, dear readers. How are you? I am fine. Well, kinda fine. I am emerging slowly, as many of us are, attending to things that have been put off too long—dental appointments, household repairs, long overdue purchases, wellness exams for my cats. Stuff like that. I want to get out, but it’s scary too. I’m fully vaccinated, my health risk is … Continue reading Sheltering-in-Place: final edition?
Tana French writes compelling stories, stories that are hard to put down. Years ago I read one of her earlier novels and found it to be enthralling and entertaining, but ultimately disturbing when I realized how unreliable the narrator was. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read another of her books, but I took a chance on … Continue reading The Witch Elm, a review
Imagine a world where suddenly and inexplicably the sick and injured begin to emit light. Open wounds shine like flash lights, acne sparkles like glitter, leukemia patients shimmer and glow, and muscle tension can be seen “twisting like algae in an underwater current.” This is the stunning phenomenon that drives Kevin Brockmeier’s The Illumination. Though labeled a novel, … Continue reading The Illumination, a review
In the first paragraph of Deacon King Kong by James McBride, the title character, aka Cuffy “Sportcoat” Lambkin, shoots a young drug dealer on the plaza of a public housing project where they both live in 1969 New York City. The surprise is that a story with such a gritty opening turns out to be a genuine, feel-good, … Continue reading Deacon King Kong, a review
Last week I listed a few of my favorite books for cold weather reading and gifting. This week, allow me to tell you about a few of my favorite read-aloud picture books for kids. These are all books I loved to read to my students when I was teaching, and I feel safe in saying they’re modern … Continue reading Read-Aloud Picture Books
I’ve heard it said that Russian novels are so long because Russian winters are so cold! What better way to spend time inside than reading a book? In Iceland I hear there’s a tradition of gifting family and friends with books and chocolate so they may take to their beds cozy and satisfied for a long … Continue reading Celebrating Books
We’ve all been “sheltering” now, to one degree or another, for seven and a half months. Initially I was both alarmed and secretly pleased—because suddenly I could be my introvert self without apology. My biggest fear was that the whole thing would end too soon—before I completed the half-finished novel I’d been sitting on for the past … Continue reading Sheltering, Part 4
Goodreads had a Facebook post a week or so ago asking readers to “describe the book you’re currently reading in one word.” I’m generally too verbose to succeed with such restrictions, but this time it was easy. The Earthseed Series by the late African American science fiction writer Octavia Butler is like nothing else out there—and … Continue reading Earthseed, a review
It was pointed out to me in recent years that the Catholic Church has seven sacraments for men but only six for women. I already knew that, but I had never thought it about it in quite that way before. For all you non-Catholics out there, sacraments are sacred rituals to mark initiations, milestones, and … Continue reading Ordination