Book Review: The Martian Chronicles

It is interesting, beginning any book. You don’t quite feel like you belong, you’re not sure if you’re speaking the right language. And where are you, anyways? What’s going on? Some books invite you in pretty quickly. Other books take a long time to acclimate to, sometimes so long that you give up on them…

Book Review: The Borrowers

Here are a few of the books that I remember loving in late-elementary school: A Wrinkle in Time, Caddie Woodlawn, The Wheel on the School, The Indian in the Cupboard, and The Borrowers. (Also the Babysitters Club, but we don’t need to pretend that’s great literature; just good, clean fun.) It occurs to me that…

Book Review: Because of Winn-Dixie

I hadn’t even noticed, until now, that I had two Kate DiCamillo reviews lined up one right after another. This is another book that I read with my son, but then gave a 24-hour re-read in order to review it fairly. I remembered it, but not well enough. I think that one of the reasons…

Book Review: Flora & Ulysses

I haven’t really jumped on the Kate DiCamillo train, though it seems everyone else has. I suppose that she has been on my radar, just out of sight, for several years. She just keeps going—getting movie deals, winning awards, and taking names. Her books boast the Newbery Medal (twice!, and also an honor and finalist),…

Series Review: Maze Runner

I am not going to review the whole series. Why? Because I read the first book and have decided that this series is really not meant for me. It is meant for someone, but it is not me, and I have so many other books that I am itching to read right now, but not…

Book Review: The Book with No Pictures

I enjoy giving books to the young people in my life. It is a fantasy of mine to supply great libraries of curated books to all of my grandchildren. Yes, this is my fantasy. Toward this end, I have kept my eyes open for the best of all books for every age of person. This…

Series Review: Twilight

Well, this is embarrassing. I guess if I’m going to do the crime, I’ll have to do the time. Just kidding, sort of. The truth is this: one of those little library boxes appeared in my neighborhood last year, which made me very happy. I wander by it frequently, depositing and taking books, although mostly…

Book Review: Kitchen Confidential

I have dreaded writing this review. I have dreaded writing it so much that I actually refused to finish the book for months, therefore delaying the review. Perhaps this wasn’t done consciously, but it was done nonetheless. I like Anthony Bourdain, after all. I have praised him highly for many things, including most of his…

Book Review: American Gods

This is one of the longest waits I have had before reviewing a book, in my—what? eight?—years doing reviews on The Starving Artist. It might even be the longest, but it’s not like I have that info handy to check. I mean, the point of these reviews is to share, sure, but also to remember,…

Book Review: The UltraMind Solution

This is a loooooong book. For me, it was life-changing and made it onto my list of Books That Changed My Life. But Dr. Mark Hyman could have written it with a lot less words, and this comes largely from repetition (and also from technical details, but that might be necessary). Not everyone is going…

Book Review: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

One of the reasons I hadn’t ever read this book before (besides the thousands of other books I want to read) is the title. Another reason was the cover. It just didn’t make me want to pick it up (and it turns out, the copy I have is also not very representative). As for the…

Book Review: The Glass Castle

This was a tough read. I’m not the first to say that, and maybe not even the first person to begin their review with that exact sentence. And looking at the other reviews, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is fairly polarizing, even to people who like it (and they are minion). “It was well…

Book Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

I have been out of commission since October, which is a little extreme. I attended that wonderful writing residency and finished a novel, but within weeks of returning I came down with something like the flu and destroyed my Thanksgiving season. I struggled with recovery until I decided that I had a secondary sinus infection.…

Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

I’m not averse to a story in which animals are personified. I’m not averse to a story in which animals are personified but being sneaky about it right under the nose of unsuspecting humans. But there was something about The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate that somehow defied both these categorizations and got…

Book Review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Well, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a quick read. And if you like morals with your stories–if you want to walk away introspective in a Halmark-movie sort of way–then this could be the book for you. What did I think about it? It’s certainly easy to read. It’s interesting and moving. You’re always…