The Liar’s Club

by Mary Karr


How to review a book of this nature? It is basically like casting judgment on someone’s life and what they have gone through. I’m in a memoir phase lately, which in and of itself is a bit of a surprise. I’ve always maintained that if you write an entire book about yourself you should definitely have done something mildly noteworthy. Is having a crappy childhood, and equally crappy adolescence noteworthy?
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Paper Valentine

by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yavanoff

This isn’t the sort of book that I usually pick up, or at least, supernatural YA books don’t always appeal to me, but I was pleased to find that Paper Valentine is no mere YA book.
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Black Chalk

by Christopher J. Yates

Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

So, the tag on this book said, “A new Stephen King, albeit with a British Accent” and I thought. Oh. Gag. I don’t dislike Stephen King, it just isn’t my thing. BUT, my husband had read about this book somewhere and I am always looking for a good new thriller/suspense type book to read so I kept an open mind.  Read More »

The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

by Douglas Starr

The Killer of Little Shepards by Douglass Starr

I’m sure I’ve talked before about how my husband thinks I am extremely macabre what with my reading of murder books all the time… I can’t help myself. I love history and there is also something about looking at the horror of a murderer and what makes them tick. It is like standing close to a monster, but not getting eaten. Read More »

C is for Corpse

by Sue Grafton

C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

Yes, back to the BEGINNING of these Sue Grafton books. For those who don’t remember, I am not reading these in any order other than the order that they come into my hands. I think the first of the Alphabet Murder books I read was N is for Noose. I’ve acquired various others along the way. One day I’ll get through all of them, perhaps before she writes Z. Read More »

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 5: The Unmapped Sea

by Maryrose Wood

The incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and the Unmapped Sea by Maryrose Wood

Okay, I’ma ’bout to get nit-picky. Between books four and five they changed the style and design of the cover art which is no surprised as they changed artists. They also went from the deckle edge paper to regular old straight edge paper… UGH. It appears from her website that future releases of the books will have different cover art most likely using the current artist. I am not a huge emoticon user, but let me describe my face right now. I am frowning. My eyebrows are furrowed. Basically, my face is the annoyed emoticon. Read More »


by Jan Burke

Hocus by Jan Burke

Confession: I am somewhat behind on my reviews. I read this one so long ago that I couldn’t exactly remember what it was about. I had to begin re-reading. Within a few minutes I remembered it all. I tend to think more favorably of books a while after I’ve read them, so my review might be tainted by that. Read More »

A Spool of Blue Thread

by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

I don’t exactly recall how this book came into my orbit… and how I randomly ended up with a large print edition? Very interesting. Or maybe it was a gift because I started taking sewing classes last year? Either way, it had nothing to do with sewing and was a nice little read. Read More »

Ordinary People

by Judith Guest

Ordinary People by Judith Guest

I will admit, this is one of my favorite as a movie. I love a good miserable tragedy that ends with an unsatisfying whimper. I assure you, I’m not being sarcastic, I also really enjoyed it as a book. I picked this book up from the “FREE” bin at a second hand book store because, why not? Though–I rarely say this–I liked the movie better. Read More »

To Be a Runner: How Racing Up Mountains, Running with the Bulls, or Just Taking On a 5k Makes You a Better Person (and the World a Better Place)

by Martin Dugard

To Be a Runner: How Racing up Mountains, Running with the Bulls, or Just Taking on a 5-K Can Make You a Better Person and the World a Better Place by Martin Dugard

Another running book. Get ready. Read More »

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I try to limit my fantasy to the YA variety. Fantasy isn’t my favorite genre and all the adult fantasy writers seem to think that series containing 12 books are where it’s at. They also take several years between books. I am looking at you George RR Martin. Read More »

The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

by Neal Bascomb

The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb

Spoiler alert* Roger Bannister got to the four minute mile first, and I’m assuming you know that if you’ve been alive the last 60 yrs or so. I assume Bascomb also knew that you’d know the outcome before he even started this book and that was his challenge. How to make common knowledge into a bit of a nail biter? How to mimic the feelings of watching an actual race? Bascomb manages to do just that, and to recreate an era of sports before ‘doping’ and big money endorsements. Read More »

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans

by Gary Krist

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans

Jazz, scandal, murder? Sounds like a book for me… sadly, it was only okay. Read More »

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

by Max Brooks

World War Z by Max Brooks

This book was a pleasant surprise. Normally, I don’t get into Zombie post apocalyptic books (I’m looking at you, Cormack McCarthy), but this was written in such an interesting way that I couldn’t resist. Read More »


by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynn Robinson

I’d never heard of this book, but my well read friend sent it for Christmas and I was intrigued. I went into the book with no background information and was pleasantly surprised. Gilead is the name of a town in Iowa where Congregationalist minister, John Ames, is preparing to die. Read More »

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices

by Xinran

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xinran

Spoiler alert. This book is depressing. SUPER depressing. I purposely saved this gem for a time when I am not pregnant because I knew I would not be able to handle it in a highly charged emotional state. That being said, I still cried. Read More »

The Light Between Oceans

by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

What makes a good fiction book? That is a difficult question. Does it entertain? Does it educate? Does it evoke a strong emotional reaction? The Light Between Oceans is not a book that I would typically choose for myself but as I discussed my reaction to the non fiction book An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken with a good friend, she brought over the Stedman book and wanted to see what I thought. They both deal with women who have lost children and there the comparison ends. Read More »

Ten Big Ones

by Janet Evanovich

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

I have three kids aged 3 months, 2 years, and 4 years. Even at University I managed to do my school work and still read for pleasure. Whenever I feel like I am slipping behind and not reading, I crack out of few of these books. I enjoy Plum series because they are easy to read, don’t require 100% attention, and the bright colors are a favorite of the 2 year old. She likes to stack and unstack and pull them off the shelves.  Read More »

Hard Eight

by Janet Evanovich

Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

So, I am clearly reading my way through the Stephanie Plum series. Though, after this book, I decided to take a little break. I have read too many too soon to really appreciate the books as they should be read. Read More »

Hot Six

by Janet Evanovich

Hot Six by Janet Evanovich

Another Stephanie Plum book and things are as crazy as ever in Trenton, New Jersey. Read More »

The Secret Place

by Tana French

The Secret Place by Tana French

It is no secret among my friends and relatives, as far as genre fiction goes, Tana French is one of my favorites. I deliberately saved this one for my hospital stay with the birth of my third child. Tana French and I have a little tradition. She produces new books at the same rate that I produce new children. I hope she stops pretty soon because I can’t keep this up forever! Read More »

The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance

by Ed Ayres

The Longest Race by Ed Ayres

So, spoiler alert, I would like to one day run a marathon. Until I am back to my spritely running form, I have decided to read one book a month about running in order to keep my enthusiasm up and learn a thing or two. I don’t have a lot of runner friends that READ about running, so getting good recommendations has been mostly trial and error. As previously stated, I don’t like to read reviews prior to reading a book because I don’t want to taint my own feelings. I had already started this one when I added it to my profile. Unfortunately, I caught a glimpse of some negative reviews so this might feel like an apologist essay. If so, I apologize (do you see what I did there?). Read More »

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken by Laura Hilenbrand

Though I have vowed to cut back on my WWII reading, this book came highly recommended from nearly all my non fiction reader friends. I thought I’d read it before it became a movie and a weirdly watered down Hollywood version replaced the memory of the actual book. I am glad I did. Read More »

High Five

by Janet Evanovich

High Five by Janet Evanovich

This is the fifth installment in the Stephanie Plum series. And I am not going to lie, it was hard to suspend my disbelief at times. Generally, the plots are implausible, but this one was just too much.  Read More »

12 Years a Slave

by Solomon Northup

12 Years a Slave by Soloman Northrup

This book was written in 1853 about a free black man who was kidnapped and transported south to live as a slave for 12 long years. I’ve read other memoirs written in the same time frame, and I have to say that I don’t love the style of personal narratives written at the time. So that dislike of the way this memoir was written is reflected in how much I was able to enjoy the book as a whole, if one can enjoy reading about the utter misery of another human being. Read More »

Four to Score

by Janet Evanovich

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

Disclaimer: I’m beginning to feel like the titles have very little to do with what is actually happening in the book. I picture Evanovich in her office thinking, “Okay, we’re on four… hmmm… I got it, Four to Score!” though what it means she hasn’t the vaguest idea. That being said, I genuinely liked Four to Score. I think it is my actual favorite in the series thus far. Read More »

Three to Get Deadly

by Janet Evanovich

Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

So, spoiler alert (not really), I read six of these books in quick succession as I prepared for the birth of my third child. I needed some light bubble gum reading to feel like I was getting something accomplished and I can crack two of these books out in a day. So be prepared for lots of Evanovich reviews in the future. Also be prepared for me to start enjoying them marginally less. I find this series should not be devoured whole, as it were, but nibbled in bites here and there. I find I appreciate the individual books more that way.
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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

by Lewis Buzbee

The Yellow Lighted Book Shop by Lewis Buzbee

I like books about reading. And books about books. And books about loving books… Buzbee’s book about bookstores was right up my alley. I think all book lovers can relate to the themes he touches on, and as he takes his little walk down memory lane, a lot of what Buzbee remembers will be familiar. Read More »

The Devil’s Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century

by Harold Schechter

The Devil's Gentleman by Harold Schechter

Finally, a delightful non fiction about murder… just what you were all hoping for, I am sure. This book follows the poisoning murders of two people and the subsequent trials of Roland Molineux in the late 1800s.

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The Big Ditch: How America Took, Built, Ran, and Ultimately Gave Away the Panama Canal

by Noel Maurer and Carlos Yu

The Big Ditch by Noel Maurer and Carlos Yu

Finally! An academically written book about a historical event from an economics perspective! I have been hoping to read something of this nature for a while now and happily my kindly husband obliged with this little birthday gift. Maurer and Yu have all the academic credentials one could hope for which lead me to worry that the writing would be dry, it wasn’t. Read More »