6 books by authors of color I’m looking forward to in 2016

Posted February 5, 2016 // 2 Comments
6 books by authors of color I’m looking forward to in 2016

As we all know, I’m not much of a reader of new releases. Not in any timely sense. But I do keep an eye on what books are releasing, and today I thought I’d share some 2016 publications I’m looking forward to that are written by authors of color. (If you’re new to the blog, you can read about why racial/ethnic diversity in fiction is so important to me—important enough […]

Don’t knock what you haven’t tried: in defense of genre romance

Posted January 29, 2016 // 6 Comments
Don’t knock what you haven’t tried: in defense of genre romance

Though it happens less in the social circles I frequent, there is no denying the social stigma against mainstream genre romance. We all know these books, those paperbacks at the drug store with half-naked, spray-tanned men and wasp-waisted women whose ballgowns are 1 second from becoming a puddle on the floor. It’s easy, especially among academic circles, to deride these books as low-class trash, though often these same critics have never […]

A lover of stories

Posted January 24, 2016 // 0 Comments
A lover of stories

We think we tell stories, but stories often tell us, tell us to love or hate, to see or be seen. Often, too often, stories saddle us, ride us, whip us onward, tell us what to do, and we do it without questioning. The task of learning to be free requires learning to hear them, to question them, to pause and hear silence, to name them, and then become a […]

Best Books of 2015

Posted December 15, 2015 // 3 Comments
Best Books of 2015

It is that time of year, once again, to wrap up the last 12 months of reading and talk about the truly great books I discovered and read. As usual, my list is organized by genre/category. This list does not include re-reads from previous years. Literary Fiction Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry Ruby by Cynthia Bond An Untamed State by Roxane Gay […]

Sleuthing with Nancy #4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn

Posted November 20, 2015 // 0 Comments
Sleuthing with Nancy #4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn

One of my great bookish ambitions has always been to read all the Nancy Drew novels. So we have Sleuthing with Nancy. I probably won’t read all the Nancy Drew books—there’s about 500 at the moment, with more coming out every year! But I’d like to at least try to read them all. #4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn The Mystery Nancy is off to prepare for a friend’s wedding, but calamity strikes! The […]

DNF Roundup: August-November 2015

Posted November 19, 2015 // 1 Comment
DNF Roundup: August-November 2015

Unreviewed Reads Roundup (or DNF Roundup) is a feature that highlights books I didn’t formally review on the blog, as well as DNFs. Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins This was just REALLY AWFUL. And I mean that in the absolute nicest way I can. But this is bad. The writing is horrendous, the characterization is shallow and inconsistent, the romance itself, or what I read of it, moved at ridiculous […]

Unreviewed Reads Roundup: August-October 2015

Posted November 18, 2015 // 1 Comment
Unreviewed Reads Roundup: August-October 2015

Unreviewed Reads Roundup (or DNF Roundup) is a feature that highlights books I didn’t formally review on the blog, as well as DNFs. A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor The most beautiful thing about A Bad Character is Kapoor’s prose, and the way the story is able to move back and forth across time. Sometimes, the story gets a bit abstract, and the nonlinear story might be hard to follow […]

Book Review: The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

Posted November 7, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

I think any time an author writes a novel in a perspective other than the standard first person singular or third person limited, it’s going to get a lot of attention just for that reason. Though Angelina Mirabella’s debut novel has a lot going for it, what’s going to stand out for its readers right away is its second person narrative. Though, of course, I think the fact that The […]

NaNoWriMo 2015: Super chill, super fun, lots of revenge!

Posted November 4, 2015 // 3 Comments
NaNoWriMo 2015: Super chill, super fun, lots of revenge!

Generally speaking, I take a reading and blogging break during November. (Though to be honest I’ve been taking a break this entire fall, so…) This is, partly, due to National Novel Writing Month season! (insert massive applause and suchlike here). Currently we’re 4 days into the madness, so it’s time for a quick check-in. 2015 will be my sixth year doing NaNoWriMo, and I’ve won all of my five previous […]

October 2015 Wrap-up

Posted November 1, 2015 // 2 Comments
October 2015 Wrap-up

So, I posted 4 posts this month. Just 4. That’s got to be an all-time low. Maybe sometime soon I’ll feel the urge to write reviews or such again. Maybe not. What were those 4 posts, though?  Two reviews for highly problematic Westerns! The newly-released and much-loved Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (1/5 stars), and the Pulitzer-winning Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (no rating possible due to ethical questions). I […]

Book Review: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Posted October 30, 2015 // 3 Comments
Book Review: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

To consider this book out of context is only to get fractions of the whole picture. Without context, Angle of Repose, which won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is an interesting, well-written, and thought-provoking—if rather problematic—novel. But this is only if you read the book as an isolated object and know nothing about the author and his source material. Because to put it quite bluntly, Wallace Stegner lifted the majority […]

Book Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Posted October 25, 2015 // 4 Comments
Book Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

In her novel, Vengeance Road, Erin Bowman takes readers on a journey through rough, dangerous 1870s Arizona, in a story told with the voice of Kate Thompson, an 18-year-old who has just come home to find her father brutally murdered. It is, of course, a story with a lot of grit and blood and shooting and revenge—these are things that come with the territory. Kate is an angry girl with […]