July 26, 2018

I met Meg Wolitzer in Iceland. (How great is an opener is that sentence? I could hardly have invented better words to pass myself off as some sort of globetrotting, namedropping force.) I am going to have to tarnish the portrayal of my image a bit by fessing up that I...

December 5, 2017

I met Anna Quinn through a Facebook group for debut authors and was immediately intrigued both by her background and her book. Anna, a bookstore owner in the glorious northwest corner of Washington state, has a life I might have over-romanticized in my imagination: I p...

July 18, 2017

I'm back! Summer always unglues me, what with the heat and all the travel and the thousands of children running around and the alcohol. (Not that those last two are related.) What I lack in productivity and executive functioning skills, however, I make up for in readin...

June 28, 2017

The problem with reviewing a large amount of books is it's possible to use up all the superlatives, particularly if you are excitable by nature and therefore prone to hyperbole. A list of words comes to mind after reading Chris Cleave's latest work: poignant, witty, se...

October 13, 2016

I'll confess to a moment of jealousy here. I'm a soon-to-be-debut-novelist, and like every other writer on earth, I'd love to have written a literary masterpiece, replete with cultural significance and poetic prose and inescapable gravitas, the kind of book that causes...

September 30, 2016

Let’s open with this: a politician, the faux-folksy governor of Wyoming—who harbors presidential aspirations, despite a blatant disregard for the U.S. Constitution—is attacked in a park in Chicago. Various news outlets, in their haste to break the story, do not bother...

September 21, 2016

Lydia Millet’s superb literary thriller, Sweet Lamb of Heaven, has flown under the radar a bit. When it was published this May, it garnered all sorts of specta

August 25, 2016

I have a tremendous aversion to reading about torture. I can’t stand slasher flicks or brutality in movies either, particularly if it’s detailed. So I sweated and squirmed through the beginning of Colson Whitehead’s incredible new novel, The Underground Railroad, in wh...

August 19, 2016

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Nadia Hashimi, and her brilliant book, A House without Windows, which is the story of a woman accused of murder in Afghanistan.

So let’s begin with a brief, brief, brief history of Afghanistan. Okay, I can see you convulsing in the gr...

August 5, 2016

Bear with me, because at first this is going to sound like a hard sell. I want you to read about the torture of twins at Auschwitz, the suppression of women in Afghanistan, and the straight-up nerdy field of geobiology. I know about half of you stopped reading after th...

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