The Sea Witch Enchants in ‘Circe’

It’s been a long time since I raced to get back to a book not to find out what happens next but instead to return to the world found only within its pages. I remember feeling that way about the Chronicles of Narnia series as a kid, for example, or Alice in Wonderland. But IContinue reading “The Sea Witch Enchants in ‘Circe’”

Idea of ‘If Walls Could Talk’ Frames ‘Yellow’

It has always fascinated me how many stories four walls can hold. The mundane and the dramatic coexist on the same stage in a home. A house’s lifespan is not like that of the humans who live inside it; within its years of providing comfort and shelter, it can contain multitudes of stories. This isContinue reading “Idea of ‘If Walls Could Talk’ Frames ‘Yellow’”

Silence is Deafening in ‘Girls’

Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls is another one that I knew going in I was going to love but didn’t quite anticipate how hard I would fall for it. Was it the language so rich I wanted to plunge my hands in it? Was it the sadness and hope and defeat and angerContinue reading “Silence is Deafening in ‘Girls’”

Fantastic and Realistic Blend Well in ‘What It Means’

A few years ago, I was mesmerized by a story from LeVar Burton Reads, “What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky” by Lesley Nneka Arimah. It wasn’t just LeVar Burton’s performance, though that’s enough to make any writing magical (if you’re a writer in a rut, try imagining him narrating your proseContinue reading “Fantastic and Realistic Blend Well in ‘What It Means’”

An Enigmatic Mystery Drives ‘Silent Patient’

I’ve been reading a lot of tough stories lately: Lotus, Pachinko, Where the Crawdads Sing. Lots of women struggling against systemic sexism (and/or racism, classism, the works), lots of injustice. So when my digital library hold on The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides came up, I wasn’t sure at all I was ready for aContinue reading “An Enigmatic Mystery Drives ‘Silent Patient’”

‘Crawdads’ is as Lovely as its Marshland

For the last year or two, it seems like I’ve been seeing Where The Crawdads Sing EVERYWHERE. On all the best-of and bestseller lists. In the “popular” section of libraries (ah, remember libraries?) and in every airport gift shop (and airports!). Reading the short blurb about it, about a girl growing up on her ownContinue reading “‘Crawdads’ is as Lovely as its Marshland”

Wilderness, Human Nature Bring Danger in ‘Alone’

In the Alaskan wilderness, you can make one mistake, warn the residents of the fictional Alaskan town Kaneq. It’s the second mistake that will kill you. But that threat of the natural world is secondary to the danger the main characters face indoors in Kristin Hannah’s novel The Great Alone. And both sets of danger,Continue reading “Wilderness, Human Nature Bring Danger in ‘Alone’”

‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ Brings Therapy to Your Bookshelf

I don’t often cry at books. Sure, there was Tuck Everlasting. And Bridge to Terabithia, of course. And then who could forget The Art of Racing in the Rain or The Fault in Our Stars or A Thousand Splendid Suns or A Man Called Ove or… Hmm. Maybe I cry at books a little moreContinue reading “‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ Brings Therapy to Your Bookshelf”

Want Nightmares? Try ‘Infidel’

I love graphic novels. Love ‘em, love ‘em, love ‘em. When I was a kid, I’d look over the comics in the newspaper every day even though I didn’t yet know how to read. When I got older and inherited my uncle’s mouse-nibbled stash of superhero and Archie comic books from the 1970s, that loveContinue reading “Want Nightmares? Try ‘Infidel’”

All’s Fair in Love and ‘War’

I’m not usually one for romances (feelings are just so…touchy-feely) but I am one for science fiction and games of cat and mouse. This is How You Lose the Time War has both—and manages to write about time travel in a way that didn’t create massive plot holes or leave the reader hopelessly confused. HereContinue reading “All’s Fair in Love and ‘War’”