It's All a Gamble but I Love You Anyway: Once More to the Rodeo by Calvin Hennick

It's All a Gamble but I Love You Anyway: Once More to the Rodeo by Calvin Hennick
Memoirs can make for some of the most connected reading a person can do. Full disclosure, here — I am friendly with “Once More to the Rodeo” author Calvin Hennick. The tech writing he mentions as his freelance employment? I am on the receiving end of his work. So going into reading his memoir about a... Read more »

Yeah, This Ain't Right: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Yeah, This Ain't Right: Normal People by Sally Rooney
Just when you think your adolescent relationships were messy — here comes Connell and Marianne. “Normal People” by Sally Rooney resides on a number of “Best of 2019” lists this month, and it was sitting on my nightstand for at least the last four months — always the bridesmaid, never the bride when it came... Read more »

No One Makes It Out of High School Alive: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

No One Makes It Out of High School Alive: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
Ugh, adolescence. Susan Choi’s National Book Award winner, “Trust Exercise” is a tour-de-force reminder that, if not for everyone, for a lot of people, high school is both formative and damaging in ways from which people never recover. Or even move forward. How often does your mind wander back? Reading Choi’s book-within-a-book, I couldn’t help... Read more »
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So Many Third Wheels: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

So Many Third Wheels: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  Ann Patchett knows family drama. Especially the quiet and devastating kind. In “Commonwealth,” it’s a kiss that changes the course of two families. In “The Dutch House” it is a mother’s decision to bail on her family that changes the course of events for the novel’s two main protagonists, Maeve and Danny. When their... Read more »

A Love Story for Bibliophiles: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

A Love Story for Bibliophiles: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
So it went when I bought Erin Morgenstern’s “The Starless Sea” when it came out two weeks ago. I’ve been waiting all summer for this book to land on the shelves, having told everyone I knew how much I loved “The Night Circus.” Now, like any person with a favorite author, there’s always that first... Read more »

You Don't Know What You Don't Know: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

You Don't Know What You Don't Know: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
What is your default when you meet a stranger? Are you hesitant? Trusting? Engaged? Or relying on physical cues to feel someone out? It’s pretty easy to armchair quarterback an encounter after the fact, but, for example — if you met Hitler just prior to World War II, what are the chances you too would... Read more »
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Time Can't Heal Every Wound: The Travelers by Regina Porter

Time Can't Heal Every Wound: The Travelers by Regina Porter
Sometimes, time is just where life takes you. For the cast of characters — and it’s a lengthy one — in Regina Porter’s “The Travelers,” time plays a pivotal role in each of their intersecting lives. And its in this span of about 60 years that readers get to immerse themselves in the Vincent, Applewood,... Read more »

Fighting the Good Fight Against Very Bad Men: Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

Fighting the Good Fight Against Very Bad Men: Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
Well, that’s just great. Now I don’t know who or what to believe anymore. Thanks, Ronan. No, really – thank you. I’ve long thought I employed a healthy level of skepticism when it comes to all things media. But thanks to Ronan Farrow’s bestseller “Catch and Kill,” it’s clear I need to ratchet up my... Read more »

When Good Test Scores Mean You Get to Live with Nurse Ratchet: The Institute by Stephen King

When Good Test Scores Mean You Get to Live with Nurse Ratchet: The Institute by Stephen King
Finally, a school for special abilities that parents won’t fight over or bribe administrators to attend. Probably. Full disclosure – big Stephen King fan here. The likelihood I was going to enjoy “The Institute” was as high as some of the characters’ BDNF scores (more on that in just a minute). Not all King work... Read more »
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Dancing with Disillusionment: Stay Up with Hugo Best

Dancing with Disillusionment: Stay Up with Hugo Best
Did you have an idol when you were a kid? Someone you wanted desperately to be? To meet? To love? I remember standing in line somewhere, likely a bookstore, waiting to meet Judy Blume. somewhere along the path from childhood to here, I lost the autographed picture I received from her that day — a... Read more »