I'll Take "Escapist Fantasy for One," Thank You: The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

I'll Take "Escapist Fantasy for One," Thank You: The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr
Every once in a while I get lucky and am offered a chance to interview an author prior to a book’s publication — in this case, North Shore Chicago denizen Lisa Barr. Which usually means I also get a copy of the book. Her latest, “The Unbreakables,” hit bookshelves on June 4 — and it’s... Read more »

When Disaffection Meets Ill Intention: The Ash Family by Molly Dektar

When Disaffection Meets Ill Intention: The Ash Family by Molly Dektar
So my daughter is headed off to college in the fall. With that in mind, a hearty “Thank you!” to author Molly Dektar for reminding me to include the “Don’t run off and join a cult” lesson in our summer pre-university conversations. “The Ash Family” is an extremely well-written debut from Dektar — a fictional... Read more »

A Good Read Red Alert: Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

A Good Read Red Alert: Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
Stop whatever you are doing and pick up “Southern Lady Code” by Helen Ellis. That’s really all you should need to know this book of essays is worth the time. I love all sorts of books and always have a favorite on the tip of my tongue to suggest when someone asks, but rarely do... Read more »
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Love and Grief: The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

Love and Grief: The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
What would the world be like if there was only one right way to do everything? Only one way be a parent. Only one way to love a person. Only one way to grieve a loss. Would our fate become more clearly defined? Would we waste less time on toxic relationships? Would the world, in... Read more »

Um, So I Read These Essays: What My Mother and I Don't Talk About

Um, So I Read These Essays: What My Mother and I Don't Talk About
Talk about awkward. When I finished reading “What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About,” a compilation of essays, I wasn’t sure how to approach my typical review – after all, the theme – things unspoken between a mother and child – practically begs the question, “Well? And you?” It would have been a review for... Read more »

The Mind Can Play Awful Games: Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

The Mind Can Play Awful Games: Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
I need Millie Bobby Brown to the set, please. I can sometimes get on a kick in which I picture characters in a book I am reading as the celebrities that I think would best play them — in this case, MBB in the role of Cora Landry, a highly anxious 12-year-old just trying to... Read more »
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You'll Wish It Was Only Fiction: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

You'll Wish It Was Only Fiction: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
The good news with a book like “Bad Blood“?  You won’t want to put it down. The bad news? You’ll really wish it was just a suspenseful thriller and not the true story of a Silicon Vally startup that, had it been left unchecked, well … I’m left so spooked by the story about Theranos and is... Read more »

I Lived, I Loved: When You Read This by Mary Adkins

I Lived, I Loved: When You Read This by Mary Adkins
Sometimes, the best kind of time is forced down time. A wee family emergency over the weekend spun up into three days of back and forth between home and hospital (Everyone’s just fine, thank you) and while working remotely is and was doable, there are places where a book is just better than a laptop. I... Read more »

So You Wanna Start a Business: I'm Not Really a Waitress by Suzi Weiss Fischmann

So You Wanna Start a Business: I'm Not Really a Waitress by Suzi Weiss Fischmann
Success in life is really all about how you define it. That, and … well … the ability to survive on as minimal an amount of sleep as possible. I am not a business person, nor have I ever harbored a serious desire to start one, outside of daydreaming about owning a bookstore-slash-funky-gift-shop-slash-wine-bar somewhere on... Read more »
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Ugh, Men: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Ugh, Men: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Never has a swamp seemed so romantic, isolating and even violent all at once. Leave it to men to make something so natural so damn complicated. In Delia Owen’s debut fictional effort, “Where the Crawdads Sing,“ the male/female relationship is dissected across sibling/parental/partner themes, as our protagonist Kya grows up in the marshlands of 1960s... Read more »