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’”

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”

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’”

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’”

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’?”