Wolf in White Van and Severance

My 2019 reading so far can only be described as “bleak.” They’ve all been fantastic books! But bleak nonetheless—though I suppose Severance was somewhat hopeful, at the end. Continue reading



Boy oh boy did I start 2019 with a depressing book! But Amelia Gray’s Isadora is depressing in a beautiful waythe dictionary definition of poignant. I’ve been a fan of Gray for quite some time; her short story collection Gutshot is electrifying. However, she completely transformed her prose style for Isadora, a historical novel. The book’s sentences are nothing short of masterful.

And to think I won my signed copy on Twitter! On a related note: Amelia Gray has really nice personalized stationery. Now I know what I’m gifting myself when I finally get a book deal one day.  Continue reading

The Real Lolita

Sarah Weinman’s The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World was the most recent pick for the all-female-authors book club I attend. Our meeting went as follows: one by one we walked into Gena’s apartment, one by one we exclaimed, “I hated this!”, and one by one we rage-ate all the cheese and crackers our generous host had provided as we complained nonstop for a half hour. Though we gave Felipe a lot of grief for selecting this one, I can’t really blame him; it’s been receiving great press, which I simply cannot understand.  Continue reading

Gross and Unlikeable (and also a book about witchcraft)

About a million years ago (by which I mean 2-3 years ago) I bought a copy of Black Candies’ Gross and Unlikeable, an anthology of short horror stories by women.  I made it part of my AWP haul that year a) because my friend/MFA cohort member Kayla Miller is a contributor, and b) because I like horror in general. Despite these two incentives to dive in, it took me a long time to read this book—and once I finally did start, it took me a long time to finish as well. I almost always find short story collections to be hit or miss, but unfortunately I found this one to be mostly miss—though there were a few hits, to be sure!  Continue reading

The Incendiaries

For once in my life I wanted to read THE “IT” BOOK OF THE YEAR at the same time everyone else was reading THE “IT” BOOK OF THE YEAR, so I went to see R.O. Kwon read at Women and Children First and picked up a copy of her debut novel The Incendiaries. And I can understand why it has reached THE “IT” BOOK OF THE YEAR status! There’s not as much plot as you’d expect, but it gives readers a lot to think about—so much, in fact, that I had to read it twice in a row. It’s a good thing I did—somehow my bookmark got jostled and I missed two chapters the first time around. Continue reading