Media in Review: July 2020

Since I made that gigantic list of best movies and TV shows, I said that I would give you updates. But this is primarily a reading and writing blog, so I am going to limit my movie and TV reviews to a once-a-month update. (This has also come out of the pandemic, as I have…

Book Review: In Our Backyard

Continuing with the Social Passion Series, I reached for another book on human trafficking. Last time it was a standard about trafficking around the world, this time it was a book about trafficking in the US. In Our Backyard by Nita Belles was published in 2015, so it is still up-to-date, though specific facts may…

Book Review: Dear Mr. Henshaw

I already like Beverly Cleary, but I wasn’t sure about this book because it seems so outside of what Cleary usually writes (Ramona, Henry Huggins, cute stories about animals). Published in and taking place about in 1983, it’s a more modern book than her typical fifties neighborhood kids. It features a more “modern” family and…

Book Review: The Underground Railroad

Let me tell you what this blog post is not: a critique on subject or a political statement. Let me tell you what it is: a review of a book. While I had such high hopes for this book—and there were many voices from Oprah Winfrey to The New York Times on the cover calling…

Cookbook Review: Orange Blossom & Honey

During the stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders, I have been adding one Home Wishlist item to the grocery haul, every two weeks. I have also been using all of my otherwise pretty useless “allowance” on things from my own Wishlist. In this way, I have acquired a number of cool things (a fountain pen, a crepe…

Bonus Blog: Best Movies and Shows

This is like the world’s longest blog entry, and it’s just one enormous list. Also, it’s not something that I am particularly qualified to address you about, but it is, after all, just a list of suggestions. Except not really suggestions, because the list here–of best movies and shows–is culled from various lists online, which…

Book Review: Moll Flanders

I fully expected to enjoy this book. Among my favorites are so many of the classics: Wuthering Heights, Emma, Anna Karenina… you know, all that old stuff. And while I understand how this book made quite a sensation—because of subject matter, narrator choice, and even story set-up—I don’t see how it’s still clinging on to…

Book Review: Disposable People

I am almost a hundred per cent certain that I have read this book before. Not only is the information and even the layout familiar to me, but there are so few books like it, out there. Which is a shame. See, the story goes like this: It was the beginning of the pandemic stay-at-home…

Book Review: Chasing Vines

If you are an American Christian, it is likely that you have encountered Beth Moore. Maybe I have, but this book, Chasing Vines, is the first time I can say for sure I have read her. Now it seems that everywhere I look I see Beth Moore and everywhere I turn I hear a reference…

Series Review: Dragonbreath

Disclaimer: The Dragonbreath series has nothing to do with Dragon’s Breath ice cream. It’s not that easy to find a local author to support, but my son did it for me. Ursula Vernon is an author out of Pittsboro, which is a town not that far from here (Durham, NC) and a place I will…

Author Review: Todd Parr

This review has been a long time in coming. Todd Parr didn’t fall onto my list of TBRs in any conventional way (though I just looked it up and one of his books is on the Best Picture Books list). It was more of a way for me to volunteer at my kids’ school. It…

Liasing with the Man

I’ve been in the writing biz for a long time. There is a caveat to that, which is that I have been only part-time in the biz for most of those years, sometimes very part time. In fact, there have been years when I got almost nothing done. And there have been others where I…

Book Review: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

There have been many times during my twelve-year-old son’s life that we have tried to force science fiction, and especially Star Wars on him. While he has grinned and born many of these objects (sheets, clocks) and experiences (movie marathons), he has never really clicked with any of it. I should not have been surprised,…

Book Review: The Wheel on the School

You  might think, anymore, that I’m pulling your leg when I say a book was my favorite in fourth grade. It does seem like I say that a lot, but fourth grade was a golden year for me, so by “fourth grade” I mean around fourth grade. And in reality, I’ve only made this claim…

Author Review: Robert McCloskey

I started off on reading Robert McCloskey way back when my son and I read Homer Price, like a few years ago. Shortly after, I reviewed the classic, Make Way for Ducklings, and then got Lentil from the library. All this time later, I have read all of his picture books (which aren’t many), and…