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[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 …

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[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, Featured »

[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 …

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[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 …

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[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 …

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[28 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sistas Long List 2017-2018

It’s that time of year when my book club is making its selection for the 10 books it will read in the upcoming year. We started this a few years ago, and now it is our favorite night of the year. We think that this year we may have outdone ourselves with the number of incredible options, so much so that we talked about not even making pitches next year & just choosing from the runner-ups. (If you need to catch up on how we do this, go here.)
A Long …

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[7 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Fates and Furies

This is a novel that begs for discussion; that makes me wish I were back in college writing comparative essays; that makes me want to reread Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus. Mixing both Greek comedy and tragedy, Groff creates a villainous Mathilde reminiscent of Ron Rash’s Serena and Kathy of East of Eden.
I was warned before I started Fates and Furies to give it time. One of my best reading buds and literary soul-mates said it would take at least 100 pages before I was hooked. I appreciate the warning, but for me …

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[8 Jan 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Shattered Dreams

Nothing like a book called Shattered Dreams to start out the new year, huh? 🙂
Well, we all have them. Larry Crabb’s book Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy is the best book I’ve ever read about what to do with them. Through the eyes of Naomi from the book of Ruth, Crabb unpacks the journey of a Christ-follower whose dreams have been shattered.
So often, when bad things happen, we put a “God works all things together for good”  band-aid on it, apply triple antibiotic prayer and expect healing – or at …

Book Reviews »

[31 Dec 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Best Books from 2015

I accomplished a first in 2015 – finishing 100 books. Most years, I read about 65. A few times I’ve topped out near 85, but this year I actually hit three digits. To see the books and some cool stats about them, goodreads puts together a nice year-end summary. Or, for a quick list, divided by books I physically read vs those I listened to, I keep a running list on this site.
But that’s not really what this post is about. People often ask me for  book recommendations, so this post is about the …

Book Reviews, Books »

[15 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Go Set a Watchman

Many of you have been asking, but it is hard to know where to begin. My thoughts on Go Set a Watchman.
Does Watchman change the way we will or should read To Kill a Mockingbird?
This is the question at the heart of every reader who has paused before picking up Watchman. And my answer is, yes, it will forever change TKM. But it isn’t a bad thing or for the worse. Ultimately, Watchman provides a rounder, more fully developed understanding of TKM.
In high school and college classrooms across the country …