Book Groups

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 […]

Next Life Might Be Kinder

Next Life Might Be Kinder

Ever have that experience where you read a “new” author and exclaim, “Who is this guy and why hasn’t anybody told me about him?”  Howard Norman’s Next Life Might Be Kinder is that kind of book. I love the fact that this novel is summarized by the first line of the book: “After my wife, […]

Fortunately, Neil Gaiman

Fortunately, Neil Gaiman

This is not the first time I have posted about Neil Gaiman, an author much beloved by my household. I recently put forward my theories of therapeutic reading, and I had opportunity to do further research this week. I know, I work too hard.  Now then: are you world-weary?  Are you cynical? Would you be suffering from ennui if […]

Essays on the Power of Story: Rebecca Solnit’s “The Faraway Nearby”

Essays on the Power of Story: Rebecca Solnit’s “The Faraway Nearby”

I picked up Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby when I saw it on a patron ‘s list of favorite books. I had been hearing Solnit’s name a lot anyway, mostly in reference to another book of hers, Men Explain Things To Me. The Faraway Nearby is a collection of thirteen interconnected essays that range from […]