Let ‘Riverland’ Take You Away

One thing every lonely kid has is some imaginary escape to another, more magical, usually safer world. (Maybe not-lonely kids have this, too, but I can’t speak to that.) Mine was a copse of trees choking the side of a road far away enough from anyone who cared that they were allowed to grow thickContinue reading “Let ‘Riverland’ Take You Away”

‘Halfway’ Hits Home with Prison Discourse

Crime and poverty are so frequently lumped together, as are race and crime, making a sort of trifecta of bad circumstances that can really hold a person back—or worse, as we’ve seen with so many cases of police violence. But it’s worse than that, argues Reuben Jonathan Miller in his new book Halfway Home: notContinue reading “‘Halfway’ Hits Home with Prison Discourse”

Get ‘Lost’ in These Four Cities

According to the U.S. Census, over 80% of the country’s population lives in urban areas—and it’s even higher for Puerto Rico and other territories, where urban living is well over 90%. It didn’t always used to be this way, but the world is marching toward a far more urban future than our ancestors could haveContinue reading “Get ‘Lost’ in These Four Cities”

‘Klara’ Shines like the Sun

There are many things Kazuo Ishiguro does brilliantly, but one he does perhaps most uniquely—especially as we move past the glut of thrillers using Gone Girl and/or The Woman On The Train as a comp title—is create a thoroughly unreliable narrator. Unlike the tipsy or mentally ill women who have largely come to define theContinue reading “‘Klara’ Shines like the Sun”

‘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”

Hockey and Pies Make for a Delicious ‘Check’

Apparently I missed out on Check, Please when it was being released as a webcomic, which is actually slightly surprising because I feel like I spend a lot of time reading webcomics and talking about webcomics, but I’d never heard of this before a glowing review of the volume 1 book release put it onContinue reading “Hockey and Pies Make for a Delicious ‘Check’”

‘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”

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’”

‘Outlaw’ Lets Characters Ride Free in the Old West

I opened Anna North’s Outlawed expecting a leisurely and thoughtful exploration of misfits forced into a life of crime in the days of cowboys and covered wagons. Outlawed has misfits forced into a life of crime. It has cowboys and wagons a-plenty. But while it does explore misfits of various stripes, it does so in,Continue reading “‘Outlaw’ Lets Characters Ride Free in the Old West”

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’”