Book Review: Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey My rating: 5 of 5 stars Trethewey’s memoir recounts her life with her mother and her odyssey to understand her mother’s murder at the hands of her stepfather. It is an exploration of memory and of the narratives we tell about our lives to make some senseContinue reading “Book Review: Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey”

Book Review: Gumbo Life by Ken Wells

Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou by Ken Wells My rating: 4 of 5 stars I need to preface my review by saying that I’m a vegetarian. This book is more aimed at carnivores, and I’m sure Wells would find my vegetarian gumbo sacrilegious, though he proves to be an adventurous eater. And no,Continue reading “Book Review: Gumbo Life by Ken Wells”

Book Review: When you Learn the Alphabet by Kendra Allen

When You Learn the Alphabet by Kendra Allen My rating: 5 of 5 stars Kendra Allen’s essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet is an important collection of essays on race in America. Allen writes in several forms, ranging from memoir, to lyric essay, to poetry. What I admire most about these essays is Allen’sContinue reading “Book Review: When you Learn the Alphabet by Kendra Allen”

Book Review: Biloxi by Mary Miller

Biloxi by Mary Miller My rating: 5 of 5 stars Disclaimer: Mary Miller is my colleague in The W’s MFA program in Creative Writing. I’m a big fan of her work. Biloxi is a hilarious read, though it’s not laugh-out-lout funny, outlandish, or bawdy. Mary Miller’s humor, to my mind, consists more of taking wry,Continue reading “Book Review: Biloxi by Mary Miller”

Book Review: Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon My rating: 5 of 5 stars Kiese Laymon’s memoir is an important book for our time and a great read! It is immediately more personal than many since he addresses each chapter to his mother. Understanding that relationship is the lens through which Laymon examines race, gender, sexuality,Continue reading “Book Review: Heavy by Kiese Laymon”

Reviews can be Gratifying

Tonight I happened to look at the Amazon reviews of A Writer’s Craft and saw that there are now three: all from people I don’t know who have used the book in a class, and all three gave it five stars. So that made my night! I promise, I don’t obsessively check my reviews, but I shouldContinue reading “Reviews can be Gratifying”

Book Review: Daniel Wallace, Extraordinary Adventures

Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace My rating: 5 of 5 stars Daniel Wallace has given us another thoroughly enjoyable read. His characters are easy to invest in. Nothing that extraordinary happens in their lives, at least not until Edsel Bronfman receives an offer for a free weekend at a time share in Destin, Florida. ThenContinue reading “Book Review: Daniel Wallace, Extraordinary Adventures”

Book Review: Stripper in Wonderland

Stripper in Wonderland: Poems by Harriell, Derrick My rating: 5 of 5 stars If you think the cover has energy, then hold onto your hat. These poems leap off the page with vibrant language and daring subjects. Harriell is willing to take on race and sex, falling in love and becoming a parent, living theContinue reading “Book Review: Stripper in Wonderland”

Book Review: Heirlooms by Rachel Hall

Heirlooms: Stories by Rachel Hall My rating: 5 of 5 stars Disclaimer: I’ve known Rachel Hall since we were at Knox College together, so these stories would have been a joy to read no matter what, just for her voice and wry humor and the memories they evoke. Though that friendship is what prompted meContinue reading “Book Review: Heirlooms by Rachel Hall”

Book Review: Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Miss Jane by Brad Watson My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s no wonder Watson’s latest novel was nominated for the National Book Award. Watson presents us with compelling characters whose lives explore contemporary issues in a setting of historical fiction. The title character, Jane is born in the early 20th century with a birthContinue reading “Book Review: Miss Jane by Brad Watson”