Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

I read this book because my mother-in-law recommended it after she read it in a book club and then my uncle bought it for me off of my birthday wishlist. There are reasons why this book would jump out at me, anyhow: it’s about books, essentially. It is peopled with writers, authors, bookstore owners, booksellers,…

Book Review: Stolen Lives

Well, this has been one of those sorts of books: the kind that engulfs you and compels you to talk about it and to reference it at tea time, like “Well, at least we’re not in gaol for twenty years.” In fact, my husband has asked that I stop talking about it so that he…

Book Review: Africans in America

I began this season of my Social Passion reading (which would be civil rights/BLM) with some history. I began this way for a few reasons. I enjoy reading history. This book was already on my shelves. And I wanted to begin somewhere in a less disputed territory, on a less of-the-moment and less inflamed book.…

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: Where the Crawdads Sing

Sometimes a book just haunts me, before I even know what it is, let alone read it. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was one such book. I believe I first heard of it at writing group, where we share what we have recently read. I think I remember the share being favorable. Then…

Series Review: Anatomy Books by Julia Rothman

I came across Julia Rothman being stuck at home for months on end with a tween and a teen. While relatives have sent me books and punch needle supplies, my husband puzzles, and my daughter paints and canvases, my son has been harder to figure out. I mean, he could just play video games straight…

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…

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…

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…