Beyond Dystopia

A woman revisits the detention center where she and other Muslim/Arab-Americans were interned to retrieve her dead brother's property in Omar El Akkad's "Riverbed." A contemporary bruja carves out a new society with her lover in Mexico, one where brainwashed American soldiers may find respite from the atrocities they've committed, in Lizz Huerta's "The Wall." … Continue reading Beyond Dystopia

The Wheelhouse Project: Significant Jumps in Time—Brit Bennett’s ‘The Vanishing Half’

*Light spoilers for The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett* When done well, I love a novel that jumps forward significantly in time with each chapter, often giving us a different characters' perspective as it goes along. This technique functions as a way to look at the novel's facets from different angles, turning the characters and … Continue reading The Wheelhouse Project: Significant Jumps in Time—Brit Bennett’s ‘The Vanishing Half’

The Wheelhouse Project: Character

Go here for an introduction to the Wheelhouse Project. This post contains spoilers for Daphne de Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca and minor spoilers for Karen Thompson Walker's The Dreamers (2019). Character may be the widest story doorway for me. We've already clarified that Story/Plot moves me less than the others. And while I often enjoy books heavy … Continue reading The Wheelhouse Project: Character

Raincheck

Reading Friends: I had family in town this weekend so did not find time to get a post together. Briefly though, I want to recommend a remarkable novel that I loved: Normal People by Sally Rooney. This story of young lovers showcases the bonehead ways that people often act when figuring out how to be … Continue reading Raincheck

Jazz Age + Mayan Mythology = Awesome: Review of Gods of Jade and Shadows

A friend got me a Book of the Month subscription for my birthday and I often struggle to choose between each month's options. July, however, was a no-brainer. As I texted my mom (who also has a subscription), "So obviously my pick is Jazz Age + Mayan mythology." Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia … Continue reading Jazz Age + Mayan Mythology = Awesome: Review of Gods of Jade and Shadows