#ShortStorySunday – Look Them in the Eye.

Book Review for “Four Minutes” by Nataliya Deleva (translated by Izidora Angel). Summary: “Giving voice to people living on the periphery in post-communist Bulgaria, Four Minutes centers around Leah, an orphan who suffered daily horrors growing up, and now struggles to integrate into society as a gay woman. She confronts her trauma by trying to … Continue reading #ShortStorySunday – Look Them in the Eye.

Passing the Books.

Book Review for “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. Summary: "In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and … Continue reading Passing the Books.

Surfing the Sorrows.

Book Review for “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal/@prhinternational! Summary: "Malibu: August 1983. It's the day of Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a … Continue reading Surfing the Sorrows.

Opening and Closing Wounds.

Book Review for “Swimming Back to Trout River” by Linda Rui Feng. Summary: “In the summer of 1986 in a small Chinese village, ten-year-old Junie receives a momentous letter from her parents, who had left for America years ago: her father promises to return home and collect her by her twelfth birthday. But Junie’s growing … Continue reading Opening and Closing Wounds.

Sunny Days.

Book Review for “Summer on the Bluffs” by Sunny Hostin. Summary: "Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesque town hugging the sea is a mecca for the crème de la crème of black society—where Michelle and Barack … Continue reading Sunny Days.

Tasty Toppings.

Book Review for “Gentleman's Relish: Stories” by Patrick Gale. Summary: "A son wreaks revenge through the power of cookery, a lonely wife finds short-lived solace in angling lessons from a prisoner, and an obedience lesson with a puppy leads to the discovery of a murder... From the delightfully chilling to the humorous and heart-warming, this … Continue reading Tasty Toppings.

Petrie’s Dishings.

Book Review for “Antiquities: A Story” by Cynthia Ozick. Summary: Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, one of the seven elderly trustees of the now defunct (for thirty-four years) Temple Academy for Boys, is preparing a memoir of his days at the school, intertwined with the troubling distractions of present events. As he navigates, with faltering recall, between … Continue reading Petrie’s Dishings.

On Santa Claus Lane.

Book Review for “Lurkers” by Sandi Tan. Summary: “The residents of Santa Claus Lane do their best to stay out of each other’s way, but desire, fury and mischief too often propel these suburban neighbors to collide. Precocious Korean American sisters Mira and Rosemary find their world rocked by a suicide, and they must fight … Continue reading On Santa Claus Lane.

Intimate Essays.

Book Review for “Conversations with My Body: Essays on My Life as a Jewish Woman” by Elana Sztokman. Summary: “Elana Sztokman arrived in Israel in 1993 as a young religious mother wearing a long skirt and a hat covering her hair. Today, nearly 30 years later, after spending years fighting for women’s rights in Orthodoxy, … Continue reading Intimate Essays.

#LetsDiscuss2021 #5 – Reading: Goals and Guilt – #DiscussionSunday.

As people started the year out with lots of reading challenges, from Goodreads to Pop Sugar, I also noticed an increased number of people on Facebook bemoaning the number of books they read in 2020, and are already worried about how many they'll read in 2021. The question is... Why do we set reading goals? … Continue reading #LetsDiscuss2021 #5 – Reading: Goals and Guilt – #DiscussionSunday.