Book Reviews

No spoilers here. These quick reviews offer my personal take on recent books, focusing on a particular element that made them memorable (or not) for this reader. Books are meant to create conversations, so be sure to leave me a note with your own thoughts!

Isaac’s Storm, by Erik Larson

I don’t read a ton of non-fiction, but I picked this one up in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Galveston, and I am SO glad that I did. It’s hard to even believe that Isaac’s Storm is non-fiction, because it’s as gripping, vivid, and engrossing as the best fiction out there. As for content:…

A Ghost in the Throat, by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

I got this book as a recommendation from the @FictionMatter’s Instagram, one of my favorite readers to follow, and I was really glad I picked it up. From the very first pages of A Ghost in the Throat, I felt like I could identify with Ghríofa and the “female text” that she builds from two…

Gilead, Home, Lila, & Jack; Four novels by Marilynne Robinson

Okay, it’s been quite a while since my last post. That’s partly because there’s been a lot going on (Springtime! Olympics! Travel!) and partly because I held off on reviews until I finished all four of Marilynne Robinson’s novels set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa. Now that I’ve finished, it’s time for a…

The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

I’d heard of “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy many times. I finally decided to pick it up after a recommendation from a favorite fellow Bookstagrammer, and oh, my heart. This book is so subtle and poetic, tragic and astounding. I can already tell it’s the kind I’ll be thinking about for a…

A Sounds Ceramics Collaboration & Circe, by Madeline Miller

I’m so excited to be kicking off a collaboration with Sound Ceramics, in which we will be pairing gorgeous mugs with my latest book reviews, as well as some of my old favorites. Be sure to visit the Sound Ceramics store for more cool merchandise! First up, a stunning mug and a stunning cover: this is Circe, by…

No One Is Talking About This, by Patricia Lockwood

There was so much buzz about Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This, that I couldn’t wait to dive in. And now I can definitely say I understand why it received so much praise in terms of timeliness and originality. The book’s structure and subject matter both touch on things that we’ve all grown…

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

If someone had given me a synopsis of this book before I dove in, I probably would have rolled my eyes. A global pandemic? I would have said I’ve had enough of that to last a lifetime, thank you. But in fact this book completely captivated me (and I learned that Emily St. John Mandel…

The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel Seigel & Tina Payne Bryson

As you may know, I’m not particularly big on non-fiction (outside of memoir), and it has been a struggle to find many parenting books that really grab my attention. But The Whole-Brain Child was recommended to me several times, so I had to give it a shot. The verdict? This is a fantastic book to…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith

I’m someone who really likes classics, even really long, slow ones, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, is definitely both of those things. In that sense, I have to admit that this isn’t a classic that everyone will love, but for me it was extremely enjoyable. Smith’s novel is a coming-of-age tale…

Memorial, by Bryan Washington

I’ve been wanting to read Memorial all year, partly given it’s broad acclaim and partly out of a desire to support my fellow UNO alum, Bryan Washington. So naturally I started this one as soon as I got it (as a holiday gift from yet another UNO alum!). And, to summarize, I really enjoyed this…

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

I think I keep saying this but: I’ve been meaning to pull this book off my shelf for quite some time (and of course, to watch the film adaptation afterwards). Well, I finally got around to it, and I see why so many people have been captivated by this story: Stockett keeps the reader turning…

A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara

I’d heard this was a beautiful, sad story before I started it, and that was about all I knew. But both words – beautiful, sad – are woefully inadequate to describe this novel. This is a story about the power of friendship, but the characters in this novel overcome every kind of obstacle and injustice:…

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a very long time – in fact, I’ve been meaning to read anything by Margaret Atwood for a very long time, and I finally got around to The Handmaid’s Tale this month. So now, at long last, I understand what all the hype is about. I had…

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