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 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…

Purpose

While discovering Auntie Jaquey, I simultaneously groped around in the dark for a few days until I found the boundaries Aunt Gene had set.  Like finding little land mines, the things for which she refused help were planted to sabotage anyone assuming her caregiving role.  Although she enjoyed the freedom our visit provided her, complete…

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…