Category: Book Review

Short but So Sweet: Elevation by Stephen King

Short but So Sweet: Elevation by Stephen King
Sometimes, you just need a palate cleanser. A book that’s quick to read and leaves readers with bittersweet tears. The kind you buy a few copies of and hand out to friends. Thank you, Stephen King. “Elevation” may have been the last thing I expected to be rolling around in your brain after “The Outsider”... Read more »

You Keep Thinking It Won't Get Worse: The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

You Keep Thinking It Won't Get Worse: The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
Seriously, though — it can. Michael Lewis, author of popular reads like Moneyball and The Blind Side takes his turn with President Trump’s administration in “The Fifth Risk.” Of course, given my addiction to MSNBC and having already exhausted “Fire and Fury ” and “Fear,” I wasn’t sure how much more we could learn about the... Read more »

Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Lincoln in The Bardo by George Saunders

Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Lincoln in The Bardo by George Saunders
It’s an upcoming author chat that forced my hand to lift a book off my perpetual TBR pile — last year’s Man Booker winner, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” by George Saunders. And now I am left wondering if he was listening to The Clash’s “Combat Rock” while he toiled away on this tale of President Lincoln’s... Read more »
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Book Review: Educated by Dr. Tara Westover

Book Review: Educated by Dr. Tara Westover
Coming off 50 days of blogging about myself, I wasn’t sure a memoir was what the doctor ordered. But what a read. Educated by Tara Westover is more than just a “How I got off the mountain and into Cambridge” kind of story — it’s a tale so incredibly dramatic that just a third of... Read more »

50 Thoughts: The Books That Stuck Around

Anyone that’s come this far into my 50-day writing challenge knows that this blog started all because of books. I can’t tell you why I started sharing my annual book list with friends via email years and years ago. Mostly, I think, it was just a way to connect with old and new friends, to... Read more »

Fear is Just Another Four-Letter Word: Fear by Bob Woodward

Fear is Just Another Four-Letter Word: Fear by Bob Woodward
If fear were a fashion accessory, Washington, D.C. and the rest of the United States would be running circles around Paris and Milan. Bob Woodward’s most recent presidential fare, Fear, is in many ways outright terrifying. It’s not even that Donald Trump is a bad president. He is. No — the notion that should keep up... Read more »
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Yes, Virginia, High School Can Scar You for Life: Ohio by Stephen Markley

Yes, Virginia, High School Can Scar You for Life: Ohio by Stephen Markley
Stephen Markley, if you are out there somewhere, know that I couldn’t even think of starting Woodward’s book until I finished yours. Yes, Ohio is that good. A fiction debut for Markley (score another one for the Iowa Writers Workshop, by the way), Ohio is a take on the 20-teens midwestern landscape. A once burgeoning... Read more »

Yes, You're Complicit in the Family Dysfunction Too: A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Yes, You're Complicit in the Family Dysfunction Too: A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
You can love your family with all your might, but no matter: someone’s still going to be pissed they didn’t get those Air Jordans in fourth grade or their grandpa’s heirloom watch. Debut author Fatima Farheen Mirza’s “A Place for Us” is a story for all of us, regardless of our station in life, the... Read more »

Facing the Fear of the Unknown Alone: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik

Facing the Fear of the Unknown Alone: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
David Arnold captured my eternal fandom with his first book, Mosquitoland. Much like John Hughes authentically captured teen angst on film, Arnold is equally on point with teen portrayals in his writing — and it is no different with “The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik.” And while Arnold’s previous efforts focused on self-discovery inside the... Read more »
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Less: When a Really Good Book Wins the Pulitzer

Less: When a Really Good Book Wins the Pulitzer
I have a love/hate relationship with literary competitions. I hate it when they pick a book that while good, is drudgery to read. I love it when they pick a book that makes me swoon. The Pulitzer peeps picked a good one last year. Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” is, in a word, amazing. I picked... Read more »