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[23 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: 2018 Beach Reads

Last month I wrote about my penchant for the dark when it comes to beach reads. Earlier this month when we headed out for our annual trip to enjoy the salt & sand, I got to load up on my reading, and true to form, most of my selections were not what most people consider beach reading.
Here’s a quick wrap up. (Click on the title to shop for the book.)
The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn – This book was recommended by Knox McCoy from The Popcast Pod who green-lit it on Episode 239. Don’t …

Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Clock Dance

Fans of Anne Tyler will recognize all the things they love about her in Tyler’s latest novel, Clock Dance: quirky – but very real – characters, a seemingly ordinary story that is anything but and sometimes poignant and sometimes laugh-out-loud (often both!) insight into what makes us human.
Clock Dance is Willa’s story. It begins with a couple of chapters of back story but the majority is Willa, middle-aged. She’s a women that, despite a sister, two husbands (one died – not talking polygamy) and two sons, is without a family. And for …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[26 May 2018 | One Comment | ]
Literary Roundup :: Summer Reading Guides

Based on what I’m seeing these days, summer reading guides are almost as popular as year end “best of” lists. With upcoming vacations that could mean hours idle on a plane, beach or in a car, it seems everyone is ready to make sure you’re well equipped to fill the void. If you’re one who is planning on making a list, here’s a round-up of some of the lists I’ve enjoyed pursuing.
The Bitter Southerner: A round up of Southern reads that includes fiction, memoir, a children’s book and a couple …

Book Reviews, Books »

[20 May 2018 | One Comment | ]
Book Review :: Sweet and Low: Stories

Nick White’s collection of stories Sweet and Low are best described as evidence of the new South. Ever present are the themes that demonstrate the complexity of the South – the oppressive heat and beauty of our states (in this case, Mississippi); the animals we do life with and in spite of; and the people that are both our charm and disgrace – often in the same soul. Students of the Southern greats will recognize the peculiar, the odd, the disfigured, the freaks – in setting, narrative and character. Since …

Book Reviews, Books, Justice »

[10 May 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: An American Marriage

I’ve been mulling over this review for a while, wanting to write it in a way that does it justice. To say that this is a great book is not enough. It is that, but it is also a book we need.
Before I dive into the novel itself, let’s address some preliminaries. I listened to it as an audio book, and it was one that truly paid off in that format. With multiple narrators, it came to life. A significant portion of the first part of the book is epistolary, …

Book Reviews »

[5 May 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Reviews :: My Kind of Beach Read

It should be obvious from the title that what I consider a wonderful beach read is not what most people call a “beach read.” For me, the beach is a place where hours can be given over to literary immersion for multiple days on end, and I ask myself, why in the world would I squander such precious time on frivolous, dime-store fluff? Beach reads for me are my very favorite types of reads – dark and deep. Here are three of my favorites.
Middlesex: Middlesex may have been when I …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[27 Apr 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: End of Year Wrap Up for 2017-18

Here’s my end of year (almost) wrap up for our 2017-18 book selections. Because life happens, we weren’t able to meet in April and will be discussing our final book of this year (Radium Girls) at our May.
I’ve got an older post that will give a quick history lesson on how we rate books and how we account for DNF’s or DNR’s here.
Here we go!
Thirteen Ways of Looking – 2.79 (Low: 2.75; High: 3.5)
This is the lowest a book has scored in our group a long time. Basically, the way we select …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[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, …