This is a debut novel that’s received quite a bit of praise, but it was not quite as good as I hoped it would be. Author Phillips is an American who decided to write about a very remote area in Siberia called Kamchatka. Phillips…
I had mixed feelings about this book, but I found the story and its characters really compelling. Saint X is a fictional island in the Caribbean, a place where affluent white families go to soak up the sun and drink all day long. The…
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…
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.
This book about a Palestinian family in Chicago, Illinois begins with a school shooting. Afaf, the principal of a school for Muslim girls, is praying when the gunman opens fire. Then the book goes back to Afaf’s childhood. Afaf is raised in Chicago in…
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…
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…
As mystery/thrillers go, The Herd has an interesting premise. Eleanor is a beautiful and successful woman who created The Herd, which is a woman-only workspace and social clique. It’s basically a boy’s club without the boys. Her three closest friends, Hana, Katie and Mikki,…
I found this a really interesting read about what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant in Australia. Adiga tells the story through the eyes of Danny, who has fled his native Sri Lanka after torture. He comes to Australia through a school program,…
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…
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…
I have a list of recent Austen adaptations I want to read, like Ayesha at Last, Unmarriageable, and Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors. I’d seen great reviews of Pride by Idi Zoboi and was happy to find the audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo. I thought her…
I read nearly every genre and love to talk about what I read. Some of my favorite genres are historical fiction, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, and children's literature. I try to read diversely and travel the world through my reading. I love books that make me feel I'm in another world -- and also books that help me to better understand this one.
Amy and Isabelle
Know My Name
With the Fire on High
The Most Fun We Ever Had
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
The Lost Man
No Visible Bruises
My Dark Vanessa
The Night Watchman
Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
The Only Plane in the Sky
Clap When You Land
A Life Amidst Books
Reading for the critical eye
Reviewing books, society, adulthood, and more.
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For mostly adult, literary, historical, contemporary, biographical, and women's fiction.
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Book reviews by an unapologetic Trekkie obsessed with dogs and books
Reader and Reviewer
reading, reviewing, tea drinking
Reading, Writing, Nerding, and Honoring the Oxford Comma Since 1987.