Sandman: Overture 4

This installment of Sandman: Overture continues the lush art and expansive story of the previous chapters. The art by J.H. Williams III is, if anything, getting better with each issue. As Dream, his feline echo, and a human girl continue on their quest, we get more glimpses of what lies behind the curtain of the … Continue reading Sandman: Overture 4

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Book Review: When We Became Three

When We Became Three: A Memory Book For the Modern Familyby Jill Caryl Weiner My mom kept a baby book. It was an album with photographs and notes, and in it she recorded my first steps and my first words. She pieced it together by hand, and included photographic prints, my birth announcement in the … Continue reading Book Review: When We Became Three

Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Snow.11 February 1910. Ye gods, thought the infant Ursula, in a preternatural burst of consciousness, as she was born for the ninety-ninth time. Again She startled herself into a lusty scream. Bravo! A divine voice spoke from somewhere unseen. Do you realize that this is the first birth you’ve survived all on your own? In … Continue reading Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Sandman: Overture 3

I read the original Sandman graphic novels as fast as I could afford to buy the trade paperbacks. (I've since re-read them often enough that I wish I'd spent the extra money on hardcovers.) When this prequel series started coming out, I decided to see what it's like to read a Neil Gaiman story one … Continue reading Sandman: Overture 3

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

The Last Policeman series by Ben H. Winters has garnered an Edgar Award (2012, The Last Policeman) and a Philip K. Dick Award (2013, Countdown City), delightful recognition in a literary world where awards often go to novels that are epic, meticulously crafted, relevant, or even stupefying, but not always fun. This month, the final … Continue reading World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar

Meg Wolitzer is revealing herself to be a terrifically nimble, as well as prolific author. Since 2011 she’s published The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, an acclaimed middle-grade novel, and The Uncoupling and The Interestings, both for adults, following a career that’s spanned over thirty years so far. Forthcoming in September 2014 is Belzhar, Wolitzer’s foray … Continue reading The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar

Book Review: The Maid’s Version, by Daniel Woodrell

The Maid’s Version appeared last fall, Daniel Woodrell’s followup to Winter’s Bone (2006) and the acclaimed short-story collection The Outlaw Album (2011). Winter’s Bone had taken the breath out of a literary world grown content with the divide between “commercial fiction” and “serious literature.” The novel achieved the rarest of literary feats, offering an accessible … Continue reading Book Review: The Maid’s Version, by Daniel Woodrell

Stunted Radishes and Crooked Trees

This post is continued from If Plants Can’t Think, How Do They Develop Such Beautiful Habits? from last month. It’s a great time to be a plant, a hard time to be a gardener--or an elementary school teacher, as it happens. Both plants and children grow wild in the spring. Weedy, fast, invasive of places … Continue reading Stunted Radishes and Crooked Trees

Sandman: Overture 2

Anything written by Neil Gaiman is always worth waiting for. It's been almost four months since the first issue of Sandman: Overture came out, and I have the second issue next to me on the couch as I type this; I bought it late last week, and have since read it twice. Overture will clearly … Continue reading Sandman: Overture 2

If Plants Can’t Think, How Do They Develop Such Beautiful Habits?

As I set up my little table at the back of the store, my expectations were modest. The evening’s topic, and the name of the book I’d been asked to sell, was Thinking Like a Plant. The room filled with gardeners of all shapes, sizes, and levels of experience. Along with the attendees, I was … Continue reading If Plants Can’t Think, How Do They Develop Such Beautiful Habits?