‘Felon’ Doesn’t Disappoint

If there’s one thing this pandemic has given me (besides diminished social skills and a lot of loaves of failed sourdough), it’s an increased appreciation and appetite for poetry. Just before everything shut down, I picked up Joyce Sutphen’s Carrying Water to the Field and was enchanted; that enchantment has led me to discover Tracy K.Continue reading “‘Felon’ Doesn’t Disappoint”

‘Two Truths’ Questions Fact and Fiction

I take in a lot of crime-related media. Hours of podcasts, stacks of true-crime novels, loads of documentaries, and although maturity and a growing awareness of current events has curbed my appetite for police procedurals, I still watch a lot of crime TV. All of which is to say I feel that I’m somewhat ofContinue reading “‘Two Truths’ Questions Fact and Fiction”

‘Women’ is Enraging, but in a Good Way

I had a hard time writing this review. Not because I can’t think of much to say about Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Built for Men—just the opposite. As I’ve read it over the last couple of weeks, I’ve hardly been able to shut up about it. But it’s notContinue reading “‘Women’ is Enraging, but in a Good Way”

‘The Answers’ Raises Questions

Something I’ve noticed in a lot of millennial literature, as it were, is a thread of dystopia interwoven into what begins—and often ends—with the illusion of being contemporary or realistic. Like Ling Ma’s Severance, about a young woman who keeps her dead-end job after the rest of her office flees in a deadly pandemic inContinue reading “‘The Answers’ Raises Questions”

Macabre History is a Delight in ‘Monster’

When I told my husband the book I was reading was called Monster, She Wrote, he said, “You’re only reading that because it sounds like Murder, She Wrote,” and then proceeded to describe a whole horror-themed knockoff of the classic 1984-1996 series starring our absolute queen, Angela Lansbury. Which was completely insulting, because the Murder,Continue reading “Macabre History is a Delight in ‘Monster’”

No Punches Pulled in ‘Indians’

In the opening chapter of The Only Good Indians, Ricky, one of the titular “Indians” has stepped outside a bar to take a leak when a massive and possibly hallucinatory elk appears, stomps on a bunch of cars, and leaves him to the mercy of a bunch of drunk white guys who mete out swiftContinue reading “No Punches Pulled in ‘Indians’”

‘Space’ Does SciFi Proud

I’m not sure how much Michaiah Johnson knows about architecture, but if The Space Between Worlds is any indication, she sure can construct a plot. The debut novel has an immaculately constructed plot with parallels upon parallels to itself and real life—which, as it happens, you almost forget exists after being immersed in Johnson’s world.Continue reading “‘Space’ Does SciFi Proud”

‘Future’ Succeeds, Sort Of

Annalee Newitz is never short on a good concept. Their previous book, Autonomous, is all about androids and cyborgs and bootlegged prescription drugs and pirates. Their newest, The Future of Another Timeline, is packed with time travel and murder and political intrigue and wormholes. Despite the incredibly cool concepts in this book, though, reading Future feltContinue reading “‘Future’ Succeeds, Sort Of”

‘Luster’ Earns its Glow

The premise of Raven Leilani’s Luster is simple enough: A Black woman in her early 20s begins an affair with a middle-aged white man. Go down past the surface and you could expound on the fact that the man has been seeking for an affair with his wife’s permission, and that he and the mainContinue reading “‘Luster’ Earns its Glow”

‘There There’ a Gut Punch in the Best Way

There are a lot of characters—a full dozen POVs and a smattering of side characters—to keep track of in Tommy Orange’s There There. But even though reading the novel means keeping track of this person and that person as they appear and disappear within There There‘s various narratives, Orange’s considerable skill as a writer meansContinue reading “‘There There’ a Gut Punch in the Best Way”