Book Reviews

Book Review: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I inhaled this book—it consumed me. This book left me raw. exposed, alive, shattered, and…human—so extraordinarily human. It lived and grew within me for weeks afterward and transformed me into something other, hypersensitive teeming with an abundance of grit and heart and life; something graceful that made my toes curl and my humanity multiply and fragment—my compassion and empathy soar. Yeah, it did. It really did. Forewarning: this book is agonizing and bleak. The trauma eviscerates. Hints of contentment and […]

Book Review: What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte

I made no secret that I didn’t care for J.D. Vance’s very narrow perspective and interpretation of Appalachian folks in Hillbilly Elegy. Not only was his judgment and words lacking in basic facts and empathy, Vance veils his problematic views as some kind of virtuous self-help bible for the pernicious bootstrap ethos and hard work ethic that he believes most of us other hillbillies lack. He uses that old tired recycled conservative trope of stereotyping poverty as a moral failure. […]

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Once again, we have an author lifting up the language and unspoken stories of the oppressed; examining the perspectives and circumstances of the alternate embellished—often compelling—history to the voices and narratives silenced; scrutinizing the actual ghost tale told by the oppressors or the oppressed, the victims or the perpetrators; anecdotes transformed over time—made mythical by their troublesome and often exploitative and dehumanized actions—for entertainment purposes and to make the injustices feel more palatable about horrific actions and the absolution that […]

Book Review: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard is such an immense read that I’m still reading it. I didn’t wanna wait to write about it though while experiencing just how important a read her words are given how germane history relates to our present and the total lack of historical awareness people have today. I wonder if there’s a current correlation in world events? /sarcasm Mary Beard is brilliant in her knowledge and writing of the material in […]

Book Review: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal is an alluring and infuriating must read. From the socio-political themes to the catastrophic extinction level event that requires immediate action—all currently, highly relevant and related—the plot focuses on the main character’s quest to become an astronaut after a meteorite strikes off the coast of D.C. causing a rise in temperatures that will ultimately lead to an unoccupiable Earth. Sound familiar? The first couple of chapters are riveting. Character driven, the book converges […]