Book Groups

Choosing Race: Your Face in Mine, by Jess Row
By September 16, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Choosing Race: Your Face in Mine, by Jess Row

What if you could choose to become another race? What if you could change your skin color, your eye appearance, voice and body? Jess Row’s novel Your Face in Mine explores these questions and more. Kelly Thorndike has returned to Baltimore after the sudden, devastating loss of his wife and daughter when he runs into […]

Ferrante Fever: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels
By September 12, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Ferrante Fever: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels

A curious thing has happened: all of a sudden, an elusive Italian novelist is garnering adoration and speculation in American popular culture. From The New York Times’ “Who is Elena Ferrante?” article to Entertainment Weekly’s interview with the author, interest abounds. No one knows who Elena Ferrante really is so critics and fans alike question […]

Raising Your Spirited Badger

Raising Your Spirited Badger

I revisited a bit of family lore the other day, regarding my oldest daughter’s first encounter with Russell Hoban’s Frances series.  I was reading Bread and Jam for Frances aloud, when her violet eyes grew wide with forbidden pleasure as she said in a scandalized voice, “Frances is naughty!” Yes, she absolutely is. Frances may be a badger, but she is us.  When I was recalling all this to […]

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
By August 25, 2014 1 Comments Read More →

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Over the years both Gary and I have written about author Emily St. John Mandel as a young author to watch. Well, it’s time for another reminder because her latest book, Station Eleven, will be out early next month. While St. John Mandel’s first three works could be characterized as literary novels with mysterious twists, […]

Web Crush of the Week: Tales from the RAT Queen

Web Crush of the Week: Tales from the RAT Queen

No, she’s not actually a rodent (she’s really a quite nice librarian). Lucy Lockley, Booklist Editorial Board member and collection development manager for the St. Charles City-County Library District in Missouri, coordinates the district’s Readers’ Advisory Team, also known as the RATs. Hence, she is the RAT Queen. The RAT program uses a combined book-discussion […]

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
By August 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Janet Mock became a media sensation when she went head to head with Piers Morgan earlier this year. Janet Mock, a transgender activist, clarified with Piers Morgan how to let trans women speak for themselves and how to respect and honor them by using the pronouns that are real for them. She further clarified that […]

You’ll Hum Along

You’ll Hum Along

When I was writing my first book, Read on Fantasy Fiction (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), I underestimated the impact that urban fantasy would have on the market. Although fantasy fiction in a contemporary setting had always been around, and a few trailblazers like Charles de Lint had already found success with it, the formula for urban fantasy […]

Secrets, Lies, Forgetting

Secrets, Lies, Forgetting

One college summer, in a 20th Century American Literature class, I was pleasantly surprised to find the reading list included Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist. The professor said, “People enjoy reading her, so naturally, the critics are suspicious.”  It must be so awful to be a critic.  Think of all the reading material they are forced to consume on the sly. […]

A French Kiss in the Woods

A French Kiss in the Woods

I have a new writer crush on Tana French. Although other mystery writers have worked the angle of writing different books in a series from the perspective of different detectives in the same police department, her Dublin Murder Squad series uses the device to brilliant effect, creating unanswered questions that leave one dying to read […]

Satisfaction in One Year: Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy

Satisfaction in One Year: Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy

If you read trilogies, then you are used to waiting. Sometimes you only have to wait a year between books and other times it’s six or ten (not naming any authors here, I promise!). So it is with distinct pleasure and awe that I learned that Jeff Vandermeer planned to release all three of the […]