All in Recommendations

Naamah

Rating: 5/5 | It's common for me to hear about books I want to read. I add them to my list. I see if the library has them. If not, maybe I'll pick them up in a bookstore next time I'm there. But very rarely do I hear about a book and then immediately open Amazon and order that book. Very rarely to I set aside the shortlist of books I'd planned to read next so that I can read that one right away. I did those things for Naamah ... and I was not disappointed. (Click the post to read more.)

Ask Again, Yes

Rating: 5/5 | There are stories, and then there are stories. This is a rich, delicious novel that makes you forget there's an outside world. There's only this handful of characters and the love and heartbreak between them. (Click the post to read more.)

The Silent Patient

Rating: 4.5/5 | I don't usually choose to read thrillers. I like them okay once I'm in the middle of them, but it takes a lot of my emotional energy to commit to a roller coaster like that. (It's why I had to stop watching Scandal, and why I don't like it when sports go into overtime, lol.) But I picked up The Silent Patient because it had great reviews that claimed it really did something different and surprising. And I did really like it! (Click the post to read more.)

Turbulence

Rating: 4.5/5 | This book was creative, and gripping, and just plain great writing. It's not long; I read it in one evening. I hadn't planned to, and it kept me up about two hours past my bedtime to do it. But I couldn't resist. I felt like I got pulled into something that would break if I stopped in the middle. (Click the post to read more.)

Stay and Fight

Rating: 4/5 | I requested and read this book on the recommendation of a good friend who really knows books, and she did not let me down. I'm still mulling this one over. It was an introspective, deep novel about family, independence, identity, and love. (Click the post to read more.)

Trust Exercise

Rating: 5/5 | Trust Exercise is going to be a hard book to review without spoilers (but I shall attempt). So much of what makes it great is in the surprises you get along the way as a reader. So you're just going to have to trust me when I tell you that this book was really, really good. (Click the post to read more.)

A Woman Is No Man

Rating: 5/5 | This book blew me away. I usually like (but don't love) generational family stories, but this was really something special. I was so drawn into the stories and lives of these characters, and my review is not going to do it justice. (Click the post to read more.)

The Summer of Dead Birds

Rating: 5/5 | I impulse-purchased this book after seeing it on Feminist Press' Instagram channel. I've never disliked anything they published, and it looked beautiful, so I bought it. A+ DECISION, DEEDI. The Summer of Dead Birds was a heartbreakingly beautiful story told in poems that I will surely lend to many people and read several times over. (Click the post to read more.)

Florida

Rating: 5/5 | This. Collection. Is. Masterful. I cannot overstate. Lauren Groff is unbelievable, and she does so much with so little in each of these stories. (Click the post to read more.)

The Trial of Lizzie Borden

Rating: 4/5 | Y'all. This mystery is WILD. I'm not usually big on true crime, but I'm so glad I read this one. Cara Robertson has spent her life — literally, this started as a thesis paper — researching Lizzie Borden's story. She's able to paint a rich history of what we know about the crime, and about the trial. (Click the post to read more.)

Mars

Rating: 4.5/5 | I'm not sure where they had me: "short stories," "speculative fiction," or "feminist lit." Because I love all of those things. And I was supremely ~not disappointed~. These were make-you-squint-and-think stories. I carried a pencil with me when I was reading it and underlined or circled a significant portion of the words on each page. (Click the post to read more.)

Heavy: An American Memoir

Rating: 5/5 | This may have been the most personal memoir I have ever read. Laymon isn't just writing about his life; he's practically writing poetry about his soul. I kept being re-surprised, over and over, at just how many of his deepest, darkest, most private thoughts, feelings, and actions were put down into words for the world to read. (Click the post to read more.)

Such Good Work

Rating: 5/5 | Such Good Work was really, really good. Lichtman's writing is introspectively profound and yet straightforward and simple. It made for a lot of underlined passages and a hard-hitting story. There's also some sort of story-ception going on here, which was a delightful surprise and still has me mulling this whole thing over. (Click the post to read more.)

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Rating: 4/5 | Anyone who reads a fair amount of nonfiction will tell you: Too many nonfiction books say pretty much nothing new. Refreshingly, When is not one of those books. I read it as part of my subscription to the Next Big Idea Club. It taught me new things about myself and about the world and gave me real-life takeaways that I can implement. I only wish that it had been longer! (Click the post to read more.)

Educated

Rating: 5/5 | I may be a little late to the party, but oh man — am I glad I came. I do read memoirs regularly, but this was unlike anything I've read before. It's hard to describe why, but it's just good. It's just really well written, really engaging, really fascinating, and really emotional. (Click the post to read more.)