AFTERLIFE – Julia Alvarez

“It tells a story. That it has been broken.” My last read of 2022 was by an author that fits in a special place in my booklover’s heart.  I haven’t read Julia Alvarez in years, but you don’t forget How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents or In the Time of the Butterflies that easily. Continue reading “AFTERLIFE – Julia Alvarez”

BETTY – Tiffany McDaniel

“Then I buried the story alive, making sure it was deep enough, a wolf wouldn’t smell blood on it and dig it up.” I don’t really know what to say about this book, and I keep oscillating between a poor rating and a middle range rating.  Part of the flipflopping is because I know thisContinue reading “BETTY – Tiffany McDaniel”


I finally got around to reading Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library (Viking 2020).  Y’all didn’t tell me it was A Christmas Carol on repeat – just heavy on the suicide and not so much on the Christmas.  If Hallmark movies allowed references to suicide, Lacey Chabert would be playing Nora; she already has experience withContinue reading “THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY – Matt Haig”

PLAIN BAD HEROINES – Emily M. Danforth

I don’t DNF (Do/Did Not Finish) books for assorted reasons.  (I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve abandoned after starting, and they still haunt me.)  A few hundred pages into Emily M. Danforth’s Plain Bad Heroines (Harper Collins 2020), I wanted to stop.  I had such high hopes for this sapphicContinue reading “PLAIN BAD HEROINES – Emily M. Danforth”


I finally got around to reading one of the most talked about books of 2020, and before I get into my review of TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea (TOR 2020), I want to briefly touch on the problematic aspects of the novel, or as is the case, of the author. During anContinue reading “The HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA – TJ Klune”


Keisha Bush’s No Heaven for Good Boys (Random House 2020) is one of the more delicate and devastating debut novels I’ve read in a long while.  The tragedy of it is exquisitely crafted, clinging to the reader like small, dirty hands begging for money, or a hungry child suckling at his mother’s breast.  It’s aContinue reading “NO HEAVEN FOR GOOD BOYS – Keisha Bush”

THE GILDED ONES – Namina Forna

The cover of Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones (Delacorte Press 2020) is a work of art from the way the light hits the warrior’s cheeks, to the details in her hair, to the ombre choice of the backdrop. (Having read the book, I wish her hair had been left naturally in the “soft cloud” aroundContinue reading “THE GILDED ONES – Namina Forna”


Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown (Pantheon Books, 2020) was a bit of an unexpected delight.  It’s witty and dark, entertaining and heartbreaking, insightful and inventive.  I didn’t expect it to be as hilarious as it was, but Yu’s smart writing in this script format brings a lot of truth layered in comedy. Willis Wu is anContinue reading “INTERIOR CHINATOWN – Charles Yu”

EVEN AS WE BREATHE – Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

“And now it seems possible that love is the only thing that will outlive us all, but only if we continue to tell its story.” Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle’s Even as We Breathe (The University Press of Kentucky 2020) is a layered and fragile history, cloaked in mystery and romance, that is executed in a wayContinue reading “EVEN AS WE BREATHE – Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle”

BLACK SUN – Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun (SAGA PRESS 2020) was one of last year’s hotly anticipated releases, and I can see why.  Inspired by various pre-Columbus American cultures, this epic fantasy is full strong female characters, magic, politics, and prophecies.  It is the first of the Between Earth and Sky series, and Fevered Star is slated forContinue reading “BLACK SUN – Rebecca Roanhorse”