Book Review: Beth Kander, Original Syn

Original Syn by Beth Kander My rating: 5 of 5 stars Though I haven’t been a huge sci-fi fan in many years, Original Syn lives up to some of the best classic science fiction I read when that was a mainstay in my reading life. The novel is inventive, has compelling characters, and has aContinue reading “Book Review: Beth Kander, Original Syn”

Book Review: Katy Simpson Smith, The Everlasting

The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Everlasting is an ambitious historical novel that confronts literature’s central questions about love and death in novel ways. The frailty of the body and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of mortality are explored through the lives of aContinue reading “Book Review: Katy Simpson Smith, The Everlasting”

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”