Category: New to Me Author

Review: The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

I was afraid this book might be a little “sappy” for me. I like emotional reads but rarely read the kind of books described as “heartwarming”, and this book about a friendship between a dying teenager and an elderly woman fit that bill. But it came highly recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Best Books of Summer 2022,…

Review: The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews

I gave up reading historical romances for a little while because they started feeling dated and repetitive. I understand that it’s hard to write about independent women and diverse characters in times that don’t lend themselves to that. I’m grateful to Evie Dunmore – and now Mimi Matthews – for bringing me back to historical…

Review: The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

This is a humorous and emotional saga of a Vietnamese family in America. Though not a perfect book for me, I expect this book will resonate quite a bit with those who are mothers and who are Vietnamese-American. Generations ago, the family is cursed because a woman runs off with a man who isn’t her…

How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum: a review and my own efforts to reduce plastic waste

Plastic may not be the worst issue impacting the environment, but it does feel like one that an individual can more easily do something about. And if you’ve seen the photos and videos of marine life with bellies full of plastic trash, it’s pretty hard to look away.  I picked up McCallum’s book as part…

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…

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;…