Identity Crisis

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty Vendela Vida If you take inventory of what distinguishes you from the next guy, it’s really overwhelming. There’s the obvious stuff like your name, physical description, clothes and carried belongings; then there’s the esoteric: memories, experiences and people that populate them. In fact we seldom consider the identity fodder between…

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to read this book… Brilliant.…So utterly original that it makes most everything previously written about slavery seem outdated and pedestrian.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…