Book Review: Northanger Abbey

It seems obvious that I would have read all of Jane Austen’s books. In reality, I’m not entirely sure I’ve read any of her books except Emma, at least until this week. (I am a fan of many of the movies, including the Sense and Sensibility from the 90s: one of my all-time favorites.) Now…

Book Review: Knowing God

For the record, I would give this book 4.5 stars, but Goodreads makes me stick to one or the other, so… Also for the record, it remains difficult to rate certain books, because they might be important or edifying, even though literarily they might not rank at the top end. I have found myself in…

Book Review: Number the Stars

The books we’ve been reading for middle school literature lately (I teach a co-op class) have been so short that the students have actually asked for more reading suggestions. Not all of the students, but still. After Animal Farm and then War Horse, we landed on another super-short novel (which we’re not going to call…

Book Review: Outlander

Well! There are gushing reviews of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and there are scathing reviews of Outlander. No one expects it to be literary fiction—it’s popular fiction—though many claim it is great historical fiction (though it incorporates time travel), but the real discrepancy revolves around “rape culture.” I would say one out of ten, maybe…

Book Review: Home Cooking

I have a new favorite food writer and—like my other favorite food writer, Bert Greene—she is someone you don’t hear about every day. She whisked into my life with an aroma of days gone by and required me to do a little searching for her titles. (I still have one last Greene book that I…

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: 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 Phantom Tollbooth

It may seem like there are a whole lotta books that I have been enthusiastically looking forward to reading. It would seem that way because it is that way. I have always been an avid reader and a curious individual, and there are so many books that I haven’t quite got around to yet, including…

Book Review: The Thing About Jellyfish

This book will forever be a little mixed up in my consciousness with the place and circumstances under which I read it. Sometimes that happens to a book—like if you read it while on bedrest or on a bus on the way to Florida. This one has a stronger association for me than some. To…

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is my daughter’s favorite book (and she is not alone). I’ve been meaning to read it for at least a year, and I have even already watched the movie (because my daughter wasn’t going to wait around for me). Having barely set the book down over the past two days, I…

Book Review: Old Yeller

I was reluctant to read Old Yeller by Fred Gipson to my son. I had never read it, but I knew, just from being an observant American, that it was not going to end well. My son loves books with boys in nature, especially involving animals and coming-of-age, but we had already endured Where the Red…

Book Review: The Buried Giant

I hate to be redundant, but once again I find myself having just finished a book, mourning its potential. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro—which won a Nobel Prize and is a national bestseller—is not bad, exactly, but it’s also not so good. But there’s a little more to say, here. (I’m about to say…

Book a Day: The Pearl

I just had no idea what was coming, when I picked up this book. Nothing at all. (Note: I actually read this before The Bridge of San Luis Rey, but when I took my week off, I forgot to review it.) What would you think if you were about to read The Pearl, by John…

Book Review: The Well-Trained Mind

This has been, for personal reasons, the summer of homeschool books. Those personal reasons include me starting to homeschool my fourth-grade son. This is not the first or last book that I will review for that reason, and in fact, I forsee many homeschool-related reviews in our future here at The Starving Artist. Many of…

Book Review: Hoot

I’ve been pulling the sleek, simple, and colorful copies of the Hoot series by Carl Hiaasen off the shelves in the youth section of bookstores, for a long while. Something about them—including their presence everywhere–said “good book” to me. Perhaps it was the simple titles: Hoot, Chomp, Flush, Scat, and Skink. Perhaps it was those…

Book Review: The Lemonade War

The reviews for Jacqueline Davies’ The Lemonade War are mostly good, but after being critical of Island of the Blue Dolphins, I find myself reluctant to call this one how I read it: I liked it. I didn’t know what to expect, really. My daughter had pulled it from the shelf in her classroom, telling…