June 1, 2018

 I feel rather ambivalent about my reading of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Having read, and enjoyed, Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You, and knowing this book has rave reviews on GoodReads, I was excited to start reading. 

In the genteel, placid, carefully-planned suburban neighborhood of Shaker Heights, Ohio, the Richardson family has staked their claim. Lifelong resident, Elena, grew up there, went to college for journalism, married, and returned to Shaker Heights as a loc...

January 2, 2018

Sing, Unburied, Sing is Jesmyn Ward's senior novel. While I've had her Hurricane Katrina-related Salvage the Bones on my to-read list for a long time, when this book debuted as a Book of the Month offering, I immediately chose it, mostly due to the high praise it has received from numerous outlets and respected reviewers. I usually avoid uber-hyped books, but find I often regret doing so, so into the story I dove.

This dark, gritty story takes place in southern Mississippi, and f...

October 27, 2016

It was a plodding journey at times, but I made it through the entirety of Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. While this was a required text for my Nobel Prize Winners in Literature class, I am glad that I read it. A study on small town Americana and small town prejudices, Main Street was both infuriating and insightful; infuriating because of the small-mindedness of some characters, and insightful because it caused me to think about how comfortable we become with the norms of society and the prejudi...

April 8, 2016

 A baby boy is born in the darkness of a basement. As he grows up, he learns that there was a horrific fire that left his grandmother, parents, and older brother and sister scarred and disfigured for life. His sister’s injuries are so grotesque that she has been forced to wear a mask. His grandmother lost her eye-sight. His brother has developmental disabilities that render him as a bit of a clumsy, child-like beast. His parents have scarred, twisted faces, which the boy touches gently and tende...

March 19, 2016

As an ardent fan of murder mysteries, harboring an obsession for true crime TV shows (Snapped, Forensic Files, The First 48, etc.), I was excited to receive an early copy of The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas. This story is about as dark and twisted as a YA murder mystery can get!  


Tessa has returned to her hometown of Fayette, Pennsylvania to say good-bye to her estranged father, as he lay dying in prison. She hasn’t set foot in Fayette in more than 10 years, and for good reason. When Tessa wa...

March 5, 2016

Angela Davis has been an inmate at Brunesfield, a juvenile detention facility, for three years. She’s a tough cookie who has led a hard and fast life of crime. Her time at Brunesfield has been punctuated by borderline poor treatment, but she finds solace in her friendships with Cara and Issie, two other wayward girls with sad stories of their own. When we meet her, Angela is just a few months away from release and being reunited with her little brother, Charlie. All she has to do is keep her hea...

January 19, 2016

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan was an entertaining read, full of mystery and good humor. The best part is, a baby elephant plays a significant role!

 

When Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits a baby elephant from his late uncle, he is completely taken aback. How is a man supposed to raise a moody baby elephant in the middle of the city, while living in an apartment no less?! His anxious wife, mean-spirited mother-in-law, and bull-headed landlady don't make his task any...

January 6, 2016

I have my mom to thank for my love of letter-writing. As a child, anytime I would receive a gift, she’d sit me down at the kitchen table with a box of “Thank You” cards, and would instruct me to write a thoughtful letter to the gift-giver. It was a chore at first, I admit, but I eventually came to love how I could purposefully choose the best words to express my thoughts. That sentiment still rings true today. I love writing letters, and when upset or feeling particularly emotional, I will write...

December 18, 2015

“Wow!” 

Then, “What?”

Then, “Hmm. What did I just read?”

These were my initial reactions upon finishing Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls in less than 24 hours.

June and Delia were best friends. Beyond best friends, actually. They were soul mates. With both girls coming from homes without strong, supportive parental units, they relied solely upon themselves and upon each other to get through the days and nights. June loved Delia for her reckless wildness that sometimes brought out the wild...

December 11, 2015

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler promises dark family secrets, magic, and a mysterious book. Also, the main character is a librarian! For most any book lover, this book seems destined to be as captivating as the back cover touts.  

 

The Book of Speculation has two narrative viewpoints, based in two different time periods.  

 

Simon is a young librarian who lost his mother as a young child to drowning, his father to death from grief, and his little sister, though still liv...

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I love the abstract, delicate, profound, vague, voluptuously wordless sensation of living ecstatically. - Anais Nin

 

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