Genre: Fiction

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone With The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

Posted May 18, 2016 in Reviews / 15 Comments
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone With The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

  When I was a teenager, fantasy novels were my jam. I couldn’t re-read the Harry Potter series enough times, I was always anticipating the next Artemis Fowl book, and the Abhorsen series was a regular part of my rotation. And yet, as I transitioned to adult fiction, my interest in fantasy fell by the wayside. However, a few months ago, in the depths of the worst reading slump I’ve ever experienced, I decided to shake things up and try reading The Killing Moon, the first […]

Book Review: The First Book of Calamity Leek by Paula Lichtarowicz

Posted May 10, 2016 in Reviews / 3 Comments
Book Review: The First Book of Calamity Leek by Paula Lichtarowicz

Safely secluded from the Outside world by a massive stone wall, Calamity Leek and her 12 sisters spend their days tending roses in the Garden, embroidering petal-stuffed cushions, and learning the skills they will use when they are old enough to go to war against the demonmales. In the place of textbooks, their dedicated, deformed caregiver Aunty instructs them from her multi-volume Appendix, a document made up of a Showreel; beauty rituals; and bizarre myths about the sisters’ purpose, life Outside, […]

Screen and Page Pairings: Girls and Treasure Island!!!

Posted May 5, 2016 in Reviews / 12 Comments
Screen and Page Pairings: Girls and Treasure Island!!!

Nearly two years may have passed since I lamented the seeming lack of literary fiction centered around characters in their twenties, but I still feel that same frustration. My thirst for stories about people in my stage of life is slightly slaked by HBO’s Girls, which, despite its failings in representing only a very narrow, white, privileged version of Brooklyn millennial life, is one of the only shows I’ve seen that stars characters I relate too. (It’s a curse as much as […]

In Which I Freak Out About the Harry Potter Parallels in Jane Eyre

Posted October 5, 2015 in Reviews / 19 Comments
In Which I Freak Out About the Harry Potter Parallels in Jane Eyre

In the 16 years since I first cracked open a Harry Potter book, I’ve seen the series compared to Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, The Bible, Star Wars, and numerous other cultural touchstones. As an avid Potter fan (with the tattoo to prove it), I thought I had a pretty good handle on J.K. Rowling’s influences. And yet, I recently read a classic to which Harry Potter has startlingly obvious parallels that I’ve never heard anyone talk about. (Even the Harry Potter Influences and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]