Don’t Look Away from ‘Nothing to See Here’

Okay, so. There are these kids, and when they get upset, they light on fire. Like, literal fire. And a woefully inadequate stand-in for Mary Poppins has to figure out how to control it. Also, it’s really funny and kind of touching. That’s it. That’s the book. I was pretty sure when I started Nothing toContinue reading “Don’t Look Away from ‘Nothing to See Here’”

‘Butchering Art’ Makes Gore Fun

I love a good medical history. There’s just something about the collision of history and gore and progress that is fascinating. Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook is one of my favorite nonfictions ever (the PBS doc was fascinating, too) and I am very excited for The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth by Thomas Morris, whichContinue reading “‘Butchering Art’ Makes Gore Fun”

Character, not Plot, Drives ‘Pachinko’

This one’s been on the list for a while, but I finally got to the tragic darling that I got on the digital library hold list for, like, seven months ago. (At a certain point, I probably should have just bought it, but I’ve been busy living in a global pandemic and all.) As itContinue reading “Character, not Plot, Drives ‘Pachinko’”

‘Spin’ Flies but Doesn’t Make the Cut

YA Fantasy has given us more teenage female warrior characters since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I am not complaining. Hunger Games deserves (much of) its hype. I tore through the Throne of Glass series like I was in the middle of a desert and it was a cool glass of water. But it’s alsoContinue reading “‘Spin’ Flies but Doesn’t Make the Cut”

Open This Lovely (Heartbreaking) Door

My list has two door-themed titles on it and also I put them on the list a while ago, so I was not sure exactly which one Laura Ruby’s Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All was. As it turned out, it didn’t matter, because what I got was as lovely as it was heartbreaking. InContinue reading “Open This Lovely (Heartbreaking) Door”

A Dark Secret on ‘Hidden Valley Road’

In the mid-20th century, the Galvins of Colorado Springs was the picture of the all-American family. Their patriarch was a war hero who helped establish the Air Force Academy; their matriarch was cultured and educated but embraced domesticity to raise their dozen children. The ten handsome sons all played sports or joined rock bands whileContinue reading “A Dark Secret on ‘Hidden Valley Road’”

Which ‘Witch on Lime Street’?

This one has been an albatross around my neck. I borrowed a digital version from the online library ages ago and read what I felt was a significant amount before it was due and then I remember to renew it. Every time I turn the pages of my TBR list to see what I canContinue reading “Which ‘Witch on Lime Street’?”

Aging and Loss With Arms Wide Open

One of the most frightening things about growing older is the uncertainty: which terrible ailment(s) will I or my loved ones suffer with in their twilight years? Will my body be ravaged by time or will I lose my mind? Both? Neither, because I’ve planned on going out with a bang a la Secondhand Lions?Continue reading “Aging and Loss With Arms Wide Open”

Let ‘Lotus’ Break Your Heart – and Mend It

Almost from the very beginning of Lotus, a novel by Lijia Zhang that focuses on a Chinese prostitute (or ji) at the turn of the century, I could see a million different ways that the titular character’s heart was going to get shattered. What I didn’t see, and what I could not have anticipated, wasContinue reading “Let ‘Lotus’ Break Your Heart – and Mend It”

Cowboys with Smartphones

Over a hundred years since the heyday of the cowboy era, the American West still holds a spirit of those adventurers and pioneers. This isn’t just some pithy intro—I grew up in the West; my high school mascot was the cowboy and our rival school’s mascot was the buffalo (but was actually a bison, obviously).Continue reading “Cowboys with Smartphones”