Samantha Leigh Miller

writer, reader, teacher

Miss Benson’s Beetle, by Rachel Joyce

What to read when… …you need to feel there are still adventures to be had in this world.  I promise you that Miss Benson’s Beetle will make you want to quit your job, sell all your belongings, and hop a freight for the other side of the world.  The only issue there is that I […]

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

What to read when… …your boyfriend’s moved in and you’re trying really hard to be normal about it.  It had been 13 years since a man lived in my house, and for all the ways his nearness turned me into a warm gooey brownie inside, his permanent presence in my previously unmanned house baked me […]

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

What to read when… …you just need a soft place to go to sleep.  Do you have a “comfort” book?  Something like mashed potatoes, or macaroni and cheese, or ice cream?  A book you read on a bad day but with less calories?  Or maybe a book you switch over to when you’re finishing Colson […]

One Last Thing Before I Go, by Jonathan Tropper

I’m obviously interested in characters at the lowest point of their lives, making the worst choice of their lives, but how could one possibly make that funny?  Incredibly, Tropper knows how, and his One Last Thing Before I Go was the most fun I’ve had with a story in a long time.  Silver’s life is […]

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon

Any book that opens with fork-stabbed poodle-death is story that must be read, if only to give the author the chance to redeem himself, which Haddon does, and much, much more.  With the creation of 15-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone—self-proclaimed poodle murder-solver, who uses an emoji chart to translate human emotion and quadratic equations to […]

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

This is one of those friend group books, where you meet one person, and they introduce you to a bunch of other cool people you’re so happy to hang out with.  A Man Called Ove introduced me to Fredrik Backman, who has a bunch of other books I was excited to meet.  The first book, […]

Interred with their Bones, by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Okay, so I teach Hamlet (check out David Tennant’s Hamlet, if you haven’t yet!) and couldn’t help but try out this book, which is basically the Da Vinci Code and National Treasure on Shakespeare.  Yes, it reads a bit like a movie, something I usually stay away from, but the story is just good romping […]

How to Be Good, by Nick Hornby

Oh, to be British! And to be funny! Both of which I will inevitably try and joyfully fail at doing. Some of my favorite lines: “Bollocks” (p. 5 and throughout) Is there a more dismissive word in the English language? I think not. Something about the air blasted through the lips and the flippant tongue […]