Category: Book reviews

Book reviews: new SFF, poetry, and history

The Peculiarities by David Liss. 2/5 David Liss is known for his somewhat baroque novels usually dealing with finance or speculation or similar matters revolving around money, and this novel is no different. In an England where people are turning

Reviews: gorgeous poetry, Asian-inspired fantasy, and more

Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night by Morgan Parker. 2/5 This did not do much for me. There were excellent passages but as a whole it felt frenetic and often jumbled, a very free stream-of-consciousness output but one

Reviews: Jewish SFF, material history, nonfiction, and lots of witches

The Mismatch by Sara Jafari. 2/5 This book is an excellent illustration of the damage done to women by misogynist, patriarchal religions–not just more conservative forms of Islam, but also various flavors of Judaism and Christianity–in which women are owned

Reviews: horror, non-fiction, and a novel in verse

Paradise by Lizzie Johnson. 5/5 This is a compelling and very clear account of the Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, California. Johnson has done enormous amounts of research to get the human details of this story right, and

Reviews: mysteries, writing, autism

This Shining Life by Harriet Kline. 1/5 My Recommendation This is a despicable book, full of the kind of thinking that leads parents and other caregivers to kill their autistic children and themselves. I read this on the International Disability

reviews: Indigenous lit, beautiful horror, and more

Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost by Lindsay Marcott. This is a smart and well-crafted retelling of Jane Eyre in the period immediately before Covid-19. Jane, a writer needing work, takes on a job tutoring Sophia, daughter of the wealthy Evan Rochester. This

Book reviews: Best of 2020

The past year’s 5-star books from Net Galley. Fiction Bear, Elizabeth. Machine. Bojalian, Chris. Hour of the Witch. Brooks, Max. Devolution. Butler, Octavia E. Kindred. Fledgling, Collected Stories (LOA #338). Burdick, Serena. Find Me in Havana. Campisi, Megan. Sin Eater.

Reviews: secrets, journeys, history

Dearest Josephine by Caroline George. 1/5 Not my cup of tea. The characters’ immaturity, oblivious consumption of material goods, and overall privilege turned me off immediately. The language of their emails was laughable and entirely unrealistic, and the author’s epistolary

Reviews: Charlaine Harris, women’s history, and new horror

Queens of the Crusades by Alison Weir. 4/5 Written in Weir’s now well-known informative voice, this tome covers the lives of powerful women of the Plantagenet dynasty: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Berengaria of Navarre; Isabella of Angoulême; Alienor of Provence; and

Reviews: a great gothic novella for Halloween and much much more

The Blind Light by Stuart Evers. 2/5 I almost gave up on this, and am still not sure I shouldn’t have. This is a novel about time and trust and the slow building and erosion of that trust. Two men

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