GHOST by Jason Reynolds

I miss Castle. I realize this isn’t something I need to hide (anymore.) But you have to understand, I started this secret habit back before it was cool. I was a full-fledged adult with full-fledged middle school and high school children when Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants first came out. I hid in my bedroom and…

THE NAME JAR by Yangsook Choi

I remember it clearly. I was in 4th grade, Mrs. Adams’ class at Alton Elementary School and I was up next to give a talk about myself: WHO I AM. I collected the usual data about where I was born and what my birthday was, etc. I don’t remember being overly nervous about standing up…

A WOMAN IS NO MAN by Etaf Rum

I will admit, it makes me a little nervous to review a book that a) has been popular and critically acclaimed, b) promotes gender equality and c) (most importantly) is about a culture with which I have very little to no connection. So I step into my thoughts very cautiously. A WOMAN IS NO MAN…

REFORESTING FAITH by Matthew Sleeth, MD

A friend on Instagram mentioned this book recently and it seemed to speak to many of my core beliefs. We were created to live within our natural surroundings but as a result of societal advancements, we have walled ourselves away from our native home. REFORESTING FAITH speaks about the importance of trees within the Christian faith….

THE WATERGATE GIRL by Jill Wine-Banks

I’m really excited about this book. Honestly, Watergate was *around* when I was a kid, but I was too young to understand it. I just knew adults were talking about it – when it happened and years afterwards. ⠀ Jill Wine-Banks was an assistant prosecutor during the Watergate hearings. Her house was burgled, her phones…

Ode to the DNF

As readers, we’ve all experienced the mental pros and cons list we automatically go to when facing a potential DNF (Do No Finish.) It took me quite a few years into adulthood before I would actually NOT finish a book. Finally I reached the point when I realized my time and comfort level was worth…

LEADERSHIP IN TURBULENT TIMES by Doris Kearns Goodwin

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a year now. You know how it is…new books kept grabbing my attention or library holds come in or Book of the Month is asking me to choose. And now that I am reviewing books for publishers, I have a steady stream of books showing up at…

EVERYWHERE YOU DON’T BELONG by Gabriel Bump

(Book Release date: February 4, 2020)⠀ Thank you, Algonquin Books for the honor of reading this debut novel.⠀ As a white Midwesterner, I must say I felt a little voyeuristic peering into the world of a South Side Chicago teen as he navigated his way through life. ⠀ As I read EVERYWHERE YOU DON’T BELONG,…

My New Life as a Book Reviewer

During the last few months of 2019 I decided I wanted to get serious about reviewing books and working with publishing companies to do reviews for upcoming and newly-released books. I made it my goal toward the end of the year to research and find out as much as I could about the craft before…

BROTHER AND SISTER by Diane Keaton

I am so very honored to have reviewed Diane Keaton’s new book, Brother and Sister. Thank you, Alfred A. Knopf for this gifted book.⠀ We know her as spunky, eccentric, quirky and free-spirited. We love her fashion sense and decorating expertise and admire her longevity in film.⠀ Her newest book, BROTHER AND SISTER, gives a…

WHISKEY WHEN WE’RE DRY by John Larison

UH-OH!! I think I’ve made a terrible mistake. I just finished reading Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison and it might be the best book I read in 2020 – and it’s only January 13! ⠀ This book was storytelling at its lyrical best. WHISKEY was a gripping read – Midwestern true grit with…

SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM by Joan Didion

  SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM is the third Joan Didion book I’ve read in as many years. Her relatable voice holds its own unique place in journalism. I am awed at her use of language and her ability to beautifully sculpt a story out of seemingly ordinary beginnings. The title, taken from a Yeats poem, represents…