Review: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

You’ll have heard of this book because of the awards it won in 2020, including the Booker Prize.  This story of a young boy growing up with an alcoholic mother in 1980s Glasgow is worth the read.  It’s dark, but once I finished it,… Continue Reading “Review: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart”

Review: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

This is my second book by O’Neill, and while it wasn’t nearly as powerful as Asking for It, it still kept me thinking well after I put it down.  O’Neill draws characters that feel very real, and her books leave an emotional impact.  Only… Continue Reading “Review: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill”

Review: All Adults Here by Emma Straub

I really got into this book about three generations of a family in small-town Connecticut, though I felt let down by the ending, for reasons I’ll try to explain without saying too much. The novel begins with Astrid, a widow, who sees a friend… Continue Reading “Review: All Adults Here by Emma Straub”

Review: Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht

I loved the first book by Knecht, Who is Vera Kelly? so I was very happy to receive a review copy of its sequel. These books combine a couple of things I really love – a complicated main character, a mystery, and the history… Continue Reading “Review: Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht”

Review: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

I wasn’t sure I’d like this book at first.  I don’t love science fiction that focuses too much on technology at the expense of character development, and this book features a high-tech robot as a main character. I read it because I needed a… Continue Reading “Review: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz”

Review: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers was heartbreaking, but so good and very worth reading.  I realize that reading a book about the AIDS crisis in the 80s isn’t a light read, but I feel like it’s really important to understand.  It’s also a book for anyone… Continue Reading “Review: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai”

Review: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Those who love a good gothic novel will certainly appreciate this one, as will those looking for more LGBTQ stories and characters in their reading.  I’ve been wanting to read Sarah Waters, but I started The Paying Guests and it didn’t grab me.  This… Continue Reading “Review: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters”

Dad’s Red Dress by L.J. Sedgwick

I loved this book by Irish author L.J. Sedgwick about a teenager who moves to Ireland with her transgender dad, her artist stepmother, and her younger sister Laura. It’s an unusual story, but one that’s told with humor and sensitivity. Jessie loves her family… Continue Reading “Dad’s Red Dress by L.J. Sedgwick”

Following Up with Authors I’ve Reviewed, Part I

For the fifth anniversary of The Book Stop, I wanted to follow up with some of the authors who asked me to review their books. The authors I chose wrote books that really stood out — not only for the quality of the writing,… Continue Reading “Following Up with Authors I’ve Reviewed, Part I”

An Interview with C.H. Zhu, author of Descent

Yesterday I posted a review of Descent, a compelling debut novel by C.H. Zhu.  I interviewed Zhu because I wanted to learn more about this book and how he came to write it. What inspired you to write this story?  What parts of the… Continue Reading “An Interview with C.H. Zhu, author of Descent”

Review of Descent by C.H. Zhu

C.H. Zhu’s first novel, Descent, is a story about a young man from China who struggles with his sexual identity and the weight of his parents’ expectations.  While Dr. Wu Rong has built a successful career as a scientist, he cannot come to terms… Continue Reading “Review of Descent by C.H. Zhu”

She Reads Novels

"She had read novels while other people perused the Sunday papers" - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Relevant Obscurity

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Spines in a Line

books, libraries, life

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Reading, Writing, Cats - Life is pretty good.

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Book Recommendations From One Book Lover to Another

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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

The Lowrey Library

A book blog. Plus a little extra.

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Reading for the critical eye


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