Samantha Leigh Miller

writer, reader, teacher

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 […]

Case Histories: A Novel (Jackson Brodie, 1), by Kate Atkinson

You know something is about to go horribly wrong from the first line of this crime fiction book, even though the line reads innocuously enough—“How lucky were they?”—which is a tribute to Atkinson’s deft skill.  I won’t spoil this intricately-weaved set of stories except to say that style-wise, Atkinson does something in the books that […]

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 […]

Orphan Train Girl, by Christina Baker Kline

This book opened the door to historical fiction for me, and I’m never looking back.  It might be the laziness in me, but I genuinely enjoy learning about the past through fictional stories.  The Maine setting is a bonus, as I’ve never been, but always hoped to, and now feel as if I have.  The […]

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 […]

The Year of Fog, by Michelle Richmond

If books let us live out various vicarious lives, this one guided me through one of my deepest fears—the disappearance of my child.  The writing was a bit stilted at times, but the story was brutal and kept me going, even when I wanted to put it down.  Setting it in San Francisco was a […]