Category: Highly Recommended

Review: The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff

I started reading this book a few months ago, and then decided I needed to wait until I was in the right frame of mind. This is a tough read that will take you right back to September 11, 2001. It’s a vast collection…

Mini-reviews: The Night Watchman, The Glass Hotel, and The Lost Man

You may know I’m not a huge fan of mini-reviews. All three of these books deserve a full review. But given limited time, all three were really great reads so I wanted to share my thoughts. The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich I loved…

Review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

I didn’t know if I’d like this book, but I found myself listening to it at every opportunity and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  It’s the story of Vanessa, a fourteen year old in a boarding school in Maine who has a sexual relationship with her English teacher .  Years later, when other victims come forward and they look to her for support, she doesn’t know how to respond. This is her story, told over 17 years.

I’m finding it much harder to describe this book than I thought I would, because the words we use for sexual abuse (like rape, and victim, and power) are so important, and that’s what makes this book so interesting and so challenging.  Vanessa loves Strane and refuses to see herself as a victim — yet Strane is clearly manipulating her, and the effects on Vanessa as both a teen and an adult are absolutely devastating.  As are the many ways school authorities and even Vanessa’s parents fail her.

Top ten books I wish I’d read as a child

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is actually something I’ve thought a lot about: books I wish I’d read as a child.  There’s something so completely different about reading a book as a child — really falling into the story and characters and making…

Review: No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder

I’m adding this book to my list of nonfiction books I wish everyone would read.  It addresses the many misconceptions about domestic violence, like: It’s a relationship issue, not a crime. It’s not that bad, or she would leave. He doesn’t seem like a…

Review: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

I enjoyed and appreciated this character-driven family drama by Claire Lombardo.  I read it for my book club, which didn’t end up happening last month, and that was actually good because I never would have finished in time.  It’s a long one — but…

Best Reads of 2020, So Far

We’re a quarter of the way into the year — does anyone else feel like March has gone on forever?  I’ve been having trouble coming up with meaningful things to write about, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite books so far….

Review: Know My Name by Chanel Miller

This is a book I think most of us should read, though it’s definitely not an easy read. In 2015, Chanel Miller went to a party at Stanford.  Two guys found her unconscious on the ground near a dumpster, with a guy on top…

Review: Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

I’ve been recommending this book a lot lately, especially to my friends with daughters.  There aren’t that many books out there that feel fresh and original, and this one did.  First, a major disclaimer: I am NOT the target audience for this book.  It’s…

Review: They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Regardless of whether you like Star Trek, whether you’re Japanese, or whether you read graphic novels, you should pick up this book.  George Takei never fails to impress me with his humor, his knowledge, and his passion for telling a story.  He brings all…

Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I wasn’t expecting this book to suck me in as much as it did.  The office rom-com isn’t my usual type of book, but I was feeling the need for something lighter.  It starts out silly and a bit annoying — I didn’t like…

Top Ten Tuesday: the Best Books I Read in 2019

Happy New Year!  The topic for today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is the best books read in 2019.  I’ve broken mine down by a few categories, in no particular order. Fiction: Ghost Wall by Sarah Mosse Asking for It…

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