The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck

No one has time for a slow-start book anymore, which is a shame, since it’s the build in The Good Earth that makes this story so powerful.  Read the book for Wang Lung’s loveable characters, or O-lan’s frightening determination, or simply to have your eyes opened to a new way of understanding our relationship with […]

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

If you’re a book snob like me, you might have passed over this one simply because EVERYONE has been talking about it.  I’m not one for hype, which is why I still haven’t forgiven Taco Bell for taking away their Mexican pizza, then bringing it back with such ridiculous fanfare.  And I still haven’t forgiven […]

West with Giraffes, by Lynda Rutledge

If your summer plans don’t include a road trip with giraffes while being chased by a murderous traveling circus and falling in love with the wrong person, what are you even doing?  This book does an amazing job of pulling the reader out of our humdrum lives (or in Woody’s case, pulling him from a […]

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab

I have a hearing loss in my left ear, but (for very real and very stubborn reasons) I don’t wear a hearing aid, which creates some truly masterful socially awkward opportunities.  Just the other day, I was enjoying the last of my eggs and toast at the diner my husband and I enjoy sneaking off […]

The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff

What to Read When…you’re in the waiting room of your therapist’s office. I thought I’d start a list of “What to Read When…” only because there are so many times in our lives when a book can save us from a variety of social angst, or divert our attention from bad days or existential crises.  […]

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Once a year I travel to a church about a half hour from my house and watch over 3rd or 4th or 8th graders as they sweat and squirm through a Pennsylvania state standardized test.  As a cyber teacher, it’s one of the few times during the year I see my students in person.  I’ve […]

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Before beginning this post, I searched the house for my copy of Eat, Pray, Love.  I thought it would be interesting to compare the writing style between the books, since I thought I remembered that Gilbert sounds like a more serious Mindy Kaling in the former (have you read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? […]

Euphoria, by Lily King

In one of the multiverses (and now I’m betraying my begrudging enjoyment those movies), I would have definitely lived the life of Margaret Mead.  She was born in Philadelphia, close to where I grew up, went to school at Columbia, where my father did, and traveled to foreign lands to learn about cultures and peoples […]

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

When Death tells you a story, you have to listen.  Especially when Death is also a poet and stuck in a dead-end job from which he can never take a vacation.  The story Death tells might be set in Nazi Germany and it might be about a little girl named Liesel who’s lost her brother […]

Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks

Having lived through a plague (“lived”? Past tense? Please?) you’d think delving into the world of 1666 London during a wave of the Black Death would be the last thing we need, but no!  It’s exactly the sort of catharsis many of us need.  I read the novel a few years ago and was swept […]