Category: Book Genres

Review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Brideshead Revisited was written during World War II by Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh. Brideshead reflects many aspects of his life, from experiences at Oxford, his friendships with the British aristocratic set, and his military service. He published his first novel in 1928 at the age of 25.  Also around that time he was married, then…

Best Reads of 2022 (so far)

I’ve read 65 books so far this year.  Of these, StoryGraph characterizes my reading as predominantly “emotional”, then “reflective”, “funny”, “mysterious”, “light-hearted”, and “informative”. My most frequent categories of books are romance, historical, contemporary, memoir, and literary (as categorized by StoryGraph, which isn’t necessarily the way I’d categorize each book). I’ve read more nonfiction than…

Review: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

I loved this novel about a strong, opinionated woman in the early 1960s who is a chemist, a single mother, and the star of a cooking television show. This sort of novel could easily become trite but it never did. Elizabeth Zott has to deal with sexism, harassment, and assault, as she navigates the world of science…

Reading about the Environment: The Book of Hope and Diary of a Young Naturalist

This year I signed up for a challenge to read more books about the environment (hosted by Gum Trees and Galaxies).  I haven’t read too many yet this year, but I read these two in June and July and it made sense to write about them together. Both books are pretty impossible to “review” in…

Review: The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule

I appreciate books that are hard to categorize because they cross genres. Not surprisingly, this debut novel by Blitz Bazawule, a musician, artist, and filmmaker, does exactly that. The Scent of Burnt Flowers tells the story of a young Black couple, Melvin and Bernadette, who flee the United States in 1966, after a violent altercation with…

Review: Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro

If you’re looking for a big fantasy/horror novel you’ll get lost in for a while, this is a book to consider. It combines elements of many other stories — a gothic mansion in the Scottish highlands, a school for “unusual” children, a tormented villain, and brave heroes, both young and old. It’s one of those…

Review: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

I liked the idea of this book better than I liked the book itself. It’s set in 1950’s London, in a fictional shop called Bloomsbury Books. It centers around three women: Grace, who’s in an abusive marriage; Vivien, who longs to write and to manage the bookstore rather than merely stand at the cash register;…

Review: By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

This book combined a lot of things I love about Jasmine Guillory, and a few things I didn’t love so much.  Isabelle is a likeable character, sympathetic and fairly well-developed. She works as an assistant in a publishing house, and I found the description of the work fascinating. Izzy actually gets to coach, prod, and…