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…

The Known World

The Known World Edward P. Jones Why you have to read this book… Brilliant.…So utterly original that it makes most everything previously written about slavery seem outdated and pedestrian.  It belongs on the shelf with other classics of slavery, like Toni Morrison’s Beloved and William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner. -Atlanta Journal-Constitution One of…

Giovanni’s Room

Giovanni’s Room James Baldwin There are just some books that you want in your library. You consider their content is so ageless. You hold onto them like an heirloom. You want the pride of ownership; the physical copy in hardcover that can be displayed as a testament to your good choice of literature. You want to announce…

The Thing Around Your Neck

The Thing Around Your Neck Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Author, Chimamanda Adichie, justifies her well-deserved acclaim in this collection of twelve short stories. She deftly combines the universality of relationships, struggles, and triumphs with snippets of history, social studies, and culture (mostly Nigerian) but, not exclusively. After all, no one and no place is an island,…

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot This is the way you want to learn about a dry topic like the history of cell culture. Throw in some human intrigue, race relations, and the evolution of women’s health, along with clinical fact, and you’ve got a book that entertains and informs. The cast of…