Scottish-American conservationist John Muir, the “Father of the National Parks,” once wrote that “…when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else.” John Muir This quote was specifically called into use… Read More

Short stories

I get offered daily e-book bargains—freebies, or super-cheap prices—by BookBub, and sometimes I take them. I have learned, however, to first look up each one on Goodreads to see its average star rating and read some reviews; sometimes… Read More


If I had to define the central theme of the book Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson, it would probably be summed up by this quote: “But the fact was, when you lived a life, under any name, that… Read More


Do romance novels have to have a plausible premise? I ask this because so many don’t, in my experience. Every once in a while I go outside my preferred reader zone and assay one of the genres for… Read More

A classic based on a classic

I feel like I need some kind of reward for having finished, just as the author deserves an award for having written! I enthusiastically and optimistically started Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver, two days after Christmas, thinking it… Read More

A certain kind of story

I discovered Jodi Picoult’s books back when I was on the cusp of 40, with her book Mercy (I think). I may have read one of the ones before that, but the descriptions on Goodreads don’t spark any… Read More

Unreliable narrator(s)

Typically, a third-person narrative offers (at best) a picture of objective reality, or at least a world-view that is easily identified as biased in a particular way. But a first-person narrator has no obligation to offer the facts… Read More

Books about/with books, writers

I picked up a bargain e-book last week, a “relationship fiction” novel by author Susan Mallery. I hadn’t read Mallery before, but she’s quite popular, apparently. Most of her books seem to edge over the line into romance,… Read More

The books we keep

I live in a pretty small house, and I have a LOT of stuff, including books. I have always hung onto most of my books, but as I am looking to clear out some space, I’m drastically revising… Read More

My year in books

I finished my Goodreads Challenge a week early this year—115 books—and they sent me my stats, so I thought I’d share them, and look back on the things I read this year to see what stood out, what… Read More