Category: Reviews

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart: A Bold Historical Romp

Posted September 8, 2015 in Reviews / 11 Comments
Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart: A Bold Historical Romp

Constance Kopp has never been one to conform to expectations. At 35 years old, she is unmarried, residing in a farmhouse with her two similarly unattached sisters (Norma and Fleurette), and trying desperately to hold onto the farm as the family funds dwindle. The Kopp sisters’ troubles are only compounded when the automobile of wealthy silk merchant Henry Kauffman collides with their buggy during a trip into town. When Constance demands restitution for the damaged buggy, Kauffman repays the sisters […]

Playing Murakami Bingo With South of the Border, West of the Sun

Posted August 14, 2015 in Reviews / 11 Comments
Playing Murakami Bingo With South of the Border, West of the Sun

Aside from J.K. Rowling and Cheryl Strayed, Haruki Murakami is the main author I turn to when I need a comfort read. There’s something quiet and soothing about his writing. He often has his characters swim laps, evoking  long, stretched-out strokes and a kind of relaxing repetition. As a (lapsed) swimmer, I get a similar feeling from Murakami’s writing. Starting one of his books always feels like diving in and taking the first few glorious strokes after a long absence from the […]

A Book and a Podcast to Make Your Hair Stand on End

Posted August 13, 2015 in Reviews / 29 Comments
A Book and a Podcast to Make Your Hair Stand on End

Confession time: I’m kind of obsessed with podcasts. As a reader, I love putting new information into my brain any way that I can — and podcasts allow me to do this in situations in which I can’t feasibly read a book. (I also suspect that, as an introvert, I like being able to listen to people talk without having to hold up my end of a conversation.) Whether I’m washing dishes, taking a walk around my neighborhood, or driving for […]

Relieving Stress With Adult Coloring Books

Posted July 23, 2015 in Reviews / 16 Comments
Relieving Stress With Adult Coloring Books

Few things are better for relieving stress than coloring. I’m not talking about creating beautiful art; I mean putting Crayola colored pencils to paper and trying to stay within the lines (or not) of a design that has already been drawn. Whether you like to color in silence or while watching TV or listening to music or an audiobook, the act of choosing colors and moving a pencil across a page is a great way to take your mind off […]

Book Review: Speak by Louisa Hall

Posted July 17, 2015 in Reviews / 15 Comments
Book Review: Speak by Louisa Hall

Speak, Louisa Hall’s richly imagined and beautifully written sophomore novel, tells the story of the rise and fall of artificial intelligence through six intertwined narratives that span centuries. In 1663, thirteen-year-old Mary Bradford writes a diary about her sea crossing from England to America with her Puritan family, her trusty dog, and her unwanted new husband. Between 1928 and 1954, renowned mathematician Alan Turing writes letters to the mother of his deceased best friend. Spanning from 1968 to 1988, correspondence between […]

Margarita Cupcakes: Recipe & Cookbook Review

Posted July 15, 2015 in Reviews / 11 Comments
Margarita Cupcakes: Recipe & Cookbook Review

I’m not much of a cook, but I LOVE baking tasty treats, and I was beyond excited to receive a copy of Sweet, Savory, and Sometimes Boozy Cupcakes by Alison Riede, winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. This cookbook has recipes to fit any event or craving, running the range of cupcakes that are tart citrusy, and light; fruity and berry; salty and nutty; chocolate; spice, cinnamon, maple, and coffee; and savory. Here’s a peak at some of the surprising recipes that caught my […]

Book Review: Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

Posted July 7, 2015 in Reviews / 6 Comments
Book Review: Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

The summer Lois and Carly May were 12 years old, they were abducted by a charismatic stranger and held in a remote cabin in the mountains of upstate New York for six weeks before being rescued. Twenty years later, Lois is a literature professor at a small college and the author of a thriller based on her abduction, written under a pseudonym, and Carly May has reinvented herself as an actress in Los Angeles. After two decades of silence, the […]

Reading Judy Blume for the First Time

Posted July 2, 2015 in Reviews / 6 Comments
Reading Judy Blume for the First Time

I somehow made it through adolescence without reading Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, or any other Judy Blume book, for that matter. I caught on pretty quickly to the idea that to be “girly” is to be vapid and shallow and not to be taken seriously, so I basically shunned any book that seemed remotely girly. I was into Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl and Alex Rider and Abhorsen and avoided books set in prep schools like the plague. I probably missed out […]

Naked at Lunch by Mark Haskell Smith: An Immersive Look at Social Nudism

Posted June 19, 2015 in Reviews / 23 Comments
Naked at Lunch by Mark Haskell Smith: An Immersive Look at Social Nudism

People have enjoyed taking their clothes off and socializing in the buff for centuries — a predilection that is often frowned upon by society at large. In his latest book, Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World, Mark Haskell Smith takes an immersive approach to exploring naturism and “nonsexual social nudism.” Although not a nudist himself, he gamely drops trou and dives into the naturist community, going on a “nakation” aboard a nude cruise, hiking naked through […]

Disrupting the Status Quo with Dietland by Sarai Walker

Posted June 11, 2015 in Reviews / 15 Comments
Disrupting the Status Quo with Dietland by Sarai Walker

Every day, Plum Kettle sits in a Brooklyn caffe, typing out responses to emails young girls have sent to the founder of the teen magazine she works for. But despite sending frequent emails to the tune of “you’re beautiful just the way you are!” she isn’t able to accept her own body; at almost 30 years old, Plum weighs 300 pounds and is saving up for the weight-loss surgery that she believes will allow her life to finally begin. However, […]