Identity Crisis

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty Vendela Vida Take inventory of what distinguishes you from the everyone else and you’ll find there’s really quite a lot. There are obvious things like your name, your physical description, and the clothes on your back, and then there are esoteric things like experiences, memories, and the people who populate…

Form Over Fiction

God Help the Child Toni Morrison Toni Morrison, an author that I gladly read twice, thrice, whatever it takes, that I study and annotate and emulate, came out with her highly anticipated novel, God Help the Child. Even with her illustrious presence as author, literary thought leader, Nobel, Pulitzer, et al., this, her eleventh novel,…

Healing from Family Rifts

Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member Mark Sichel I didn’t find this book. This book found me! I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and noticed it on the bookshelf. While all the other books were placed uniformly, this one was…

Emotions vs. Economics

Still Alice Lisa Genova In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, Alice Howland, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Alice is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at…

Toxic Love

White Oleander Janet Fitch In creative writing workshops the first thing you learn is to “show instead of tell” your story.  This applies to character, setting, scene, etc., and author Janet Fitch’s novel, White Oleander, is my go-to book for examples in doing this.  She’s written a novel rich with sensory detail and prose so…

What is it to be…me?

The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan Most of you have probably read The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan.  If you haven’t, then you’ve most likely seen the movie adaptation directed by Wayne Wang and produced by Oliver Stone.  This was my second time reading the book, and it was ironically prompted by my high…

Life Sentences

Life Sentences Laura Lippman This was certainly one of those unexpected jewels. I read the book jacket and expected something completely different from what I got. I’m glad, because I am not much of a murder/mystery reader, and although the synopysis might lead you to believe this is what the book has in store, I…

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison Wow! My first read of Toni Morrison, and it did not disappoint. It was powerful and weighted–normally I’d brace myself for a read like this before jumping in. So, ignorance is bliss, and I jumped, committing to finishing the book in three days. Subjects addressed in The Bluest Eye…race, class,…

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston I have a reading list a mile long, so the choice of my next book has lately been influenced by what’s been written about the book before I open it.  This was the case with Their Eyes Were Watching God.  The talk surrounding this book weighed heavily…