Samantha Leigh Miller

writer, reader, teacher

Morning in this Broken World, by Katrina Kittle

Usually, when I get toward the end of a book I really like, I don’t want it to end.  You know that feeling, as the pages in your right hand start to thin and you have the urge to slow down and savor every paragraph.  Not so for Morning in this Broken World.  I thoroughly […]

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 […]

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

I dropped out of school in 9th grade, was married at 17, and had two children by 21, so um, yes, I’ve been in Nora’s shoes and wondering what my life might look like if I’d made different choices.  Sadly, we meet Nora at the lowest point in her life—possibly the end of her life […]

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 […]

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

What to Read When…you just need to breathe a bit. I’d just finished Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad which left me feeling…shaken (so much so that I still don’t know what to say about it; look for that blog post a little later).  I needed a book I could relax into.  Not something “light,” but […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin

I was hooked on this book by the third page, and it’s because of this exchange: “You’ll notice I didn’t call you right away, Amelia,” he says. “I didn’t call you because I had met someone better, and when that didn’t work out, I decided to give you a second chance. So don’t be thinking […]