Sunday, January 30, 2022

Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking by Leonard Mlodinow


If you've never read anything about this topic, this is fine. But there's nothing new here.

The Sentence by Louise Erdich


Lots of great stuff in here, but somehow I'm still conflicted as to whether I actually liked it.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Royal Valentine by Jenn McKinlay


This was epically bad. I only finished it for the same reason that people slow down to gawp at a car accident.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve L. Ewing


I didn't love all of this, but it also fundamentally changed the way that I think about "failing" schools.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez


Outstanding -- a great combination of fun story, interesting social commentary, and look at history/current events that was fresh. Recommended.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Seven Games by Oliver Roeder


This was fascinating. It was heavy on the ability of computers to play games, with interesting insights on what that means.

Losing Our Minds by Lucy Foulkes


This was very interesting; it raised some good questions about mental health.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Killer by Design by Ann Burgess


Burgess was one of the first criminal profilers, and this story is fascinating. 

Review copy provided by publisher.

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger


This was great fun.

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult


This was dumb.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz


I don't usually do YAL because it tends to be shallow and cliched, but this was fantastic. Highly recommended.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Last Resort by Andrew Lipstein


Clever plot, some clever dialogue, but just . . . not outstanding?

Review copy provided by publisher.

The Mitford Vanishing


I would describe this as "just OK." There are so many British mysteries that are so much better than this.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Hotel Portofino by J. P. O'Connell


Surprisingly good -- a nice choice for Downton Abbey fans.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Hush by Sara Foster


This was very interesting and well written.

Honor by Thrity Umrigar


This was fantastic. I need to see what else Umrigar has written.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan


So I was deeply, deeply emotionally affected by this. I don't want to get into spoilers, but I would love to have someone to discuss this one with. There is a lot going on here.

Friday, January 14, 2022

A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib


This book seemed to be on every "best of" list, but I resisted reading it because I'm not super interested in music/culture criticism, but I finally picked it up, and it was well worth reading because the writing and insights are so, so good.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Maid by Nita Prose


Very engaging, excellent characters, but the ending was a tad disappointing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Deliberately Divided by Nancy Segal


Fascinating, although would have been better if 10% shorter.

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone


I normally like Boone, and there were some interesting elements here, but this just didn't work for me.

The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain


This was excellent, both on the level of mystery/suspense as well as social commentary. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I particularly appreciated how it handled the "white savior" issue.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Monday, January 10, 2022

A Dream to Die For by Susan Z. Ritz


I thought this was lame. I'm surprised I finished it.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth


This was really interesting and well done.

Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks


This was fascinating and depressing.

Tell Me Lies by J. P. Pomare


This was very clever -- it's an interesting read.

What the F by Benjamin K. Bergen


This was fascinating and hilarious in general, although I thought the author should have been a bit more circumspect about how he treated slurs.

Friday, January 07, 2022

The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels


This was really clever and interesting, on many levels. It would be a great choice for book groups.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Technically Wrong by Sara Wachter-Boettcher


This is one of those books that everyone should read.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Do You Follow? by J. C. Bidonde


You know, this might strike some readers as way to Byzantine, but I thought it was clever and well done.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire


Some important ideas, some debatable ideas, some dated ideas.

Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom


Super-interesting and very readable.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins


I didn't love this. It just seemed implausible and yet also predictable.

Review copy provided by publisher.

The End of Genetics by David B. Goldstein


If you haven't read anything about recent advances in genetics and their implications, this is a good choice. But if you've read a few books on the topic, this won't break any new ground.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Monday, January 03, 2022

The Ministry of Bodies by Seamus O'Mahoney


"I will make a list of everything that irritated me over my entire career and then publish it, with no transitions or overarching narratives, even if it makes me look like a grumpy old person who can't fathom change."

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson


Way too Byzantine.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

So of course I had to read the second volume. It was decent.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson


A good story, but I'm not sure how I feel about a mystery that is not solved by the end of the book -- not in some clever post-modern way, but just to set up the sequel.

The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones


This is one of those books everyone should read. While there's certainly room to dispute some specifics, the kind of criticism that this book has received leaves me baffled.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells


Good, but didn't quite live up to the hype.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Blog Archive