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[10 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista Long List for 2018-2019

For the last several years, my book club has followed the same procedure for selecting its books for a whole year. Last year, when our picks were made, we realized we were missing out on discussing some really good books by leaving behind the books that were not selected. (That’s what happens when you take a month to research books you plan to pitch!)
So this year we’re doing something different. Instead of making new book pitches, we took the the books from our 2017 and 2018 Long Lists that weren’t …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Justice »

[23 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: The Fact of a Body

I bought The Fact of a Body after hearing about it on the Literary Disco podcast*. My plan had been to give it my dad for Christmas. Once it arrived, I became so intrigued, I ended up keeping it for myself.
I’ll start by saying that many researchers who write non-fiction are not great writers. That is not the case with Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. I was immediately drawn in and found myself wanting to underline creative imagery or interesting turn of phrase again and again. When has that ever happened reading non-fiction?
Subtitled …

Book Reviews, Books, Justice »

[4 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: The Ragamuffin Gospel

This book changed the way I think of God’s love.
For someone who has been a Christian as long as I have, and for someone who clings as heavily as I do to my Reformed theology, that’s saying something. But this book put a big ol’ spotlight on my “doctrine” and showed me just how works-based my faith is. Again, that’s saying something.
I’m not sure why it took me so many years to read it – it is far from a new book. In fact, in just a few more years, …

Book Reviews, Justice »

[14 Jan 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Where Do We Go from Here

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community is the last book Martin Luther King, Jr. penned before his assassination in 1968. It’s a series of essays in which Dr. King addresses the status of the Civil Rights movement, its progress, what has held it back and what he believes it will take to move it forward.
While it was written 50 years ago, I am stunned by how much of his writing is 100% relevant today. Not just because we have much yet to accomplish in the realm of race relations, but …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[2 Jan 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Best of 2017

I realize this post is two days late, but since I’m still seeing some residual “Best of 2017” on TV, I decided I’d go ahead with it. Plus, since I’ve already reviewed all my favorite books from this year, it will be quite the easy post to write. Mind you, these are the best books I read in 2017 – not the best books I read published in 2017.
Best Book of 2017 – Rules of Civility
Read my post for more comprehensive thoughts, but I picked this one over the other …

Book Reviews, Books, Podcast »

[13 Oct 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: A Little Life

Rare is it that I give a book five stars but readily say, this book isn’t for everyone. But I’m saying that with A Little Life. I loved it. Loved it so much. And typically five stars from me means everyone should read it. Not this one.
A Little Life is the story of four men who meet in college and the friendship that grows among them that carries through the next three decades. As the narrative unfolds, the reader understands that Jude, the central figure, is a damaged soul, having …

Book Reviews, Books, Podcast »

[7 Oct 2017 | No Comment | ]
On Reading :: Changing Things Up

My reading style has changed this year. Not so much what I read, but how I read. I posted a few weeks ago about some of the podcasts that I’ve fallen for and mentioned that listening to podcasts has severely cut into the time I used to spend listening to audio books. A quick glance to compare this year’s reading list to last year’s reading list and the change is obvious.
I’ve pondered this diversion, felt a tinge of guilt about it, and pondered it more. Where I’ve landed is that …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[17 Sep 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Rules of Civility

Twelve pages from the end of Rules of Civility, Amor Towels, in the voice of Tinker Grey, describes Manhattan as “so improbable, so wonderful, so obviously full of promise – that you wanted to approach it for the rest of your life without ever quite arriving.“
This is precisely how I felt while reading Towels’ 2011 debut novel. In fact, after my first sitting, I took to Twitter to try and describe how I already felt:

This will likely be the best book I read in 2017.  I adored A Gentleman in Moscow, and people …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[22 Jul 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: Year End Wrap Up for 2016-17

I’m a little late, but I’ve just finished the wrap up of our book club’s 2016-17 reading year.
We started doing something a little different in our ratings this year. Occasionally there are books that a member or two doesn’t finish or doesn’t even attempt. (In our very bookish club, this is rare. We’re serious about our reading, people.) In these cases, it is possible that said book could end up with a decent overall score because anyone who was a “DNR” or a “DNF” didn’t get counted, making its comparison with …

Book Reviews, Books »

[20 May 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: A Gentleman in Moscow

Set just after the Russian revolution, a former state sympathizer is sentenced to house arrest in the posh Moscow Metropol hotel. Within these confines the Count meets three women who, in their own way, stretch his assumptions of how rich a life is possible within the walls he’s been sentenced to. Mixed in are endearing hotel staff – a family, really – and a host of characters from the Count’s past and his still very much intact well-regarded reputation.
I first heard of this novel at my book club’s December meeting where we …