Patricia Engel’s Infinite Country (Avid Read Press, 2021) is a brief but bittersweet snapshot into the lives of a mixed-status Columbian family divided by borders.  While the novel is well-written and a very important read, it was a disappointing display of missed opportunities for this reader. As some of you know, I was an immigrationContinue reading “INFINITE COUNTRY – Patricia Engel”


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”

SANKOFA – Chibundu Onuzo

Chibundu Onuzo’s Sankofa (Catapult, 2021) is one of the best books I’ve read in 2021.  It would have been in my top three but for the last quarter of the novel, which I don’t think carries the same power and charm as the rest of the work.  Regardless, it’s a fantastic read about family, belonging,Continue reading “SANKOFA – Chibundu Onuzo”

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND – Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo’s novel in verse, Clap When You Land (Harper Teen 2020), sings with beauty, love, loss, and family. Told in alternating views, the novel follows two teenagers whose father is killed in plane crash – neither knowing of the other’s existence.  But when the plane goes down and they must accept that their belovedContinue reading “CLAP WHEN YOU LAND – Elizabeth Acevedo”

GARDENS IN THE DUNES – Leslie Marmon Silko

It is only fitting that I picked up Leslie Marmon Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes (1999) just days after learning of Larry McMurtry’s passing.  The two authors were friends, and the book opens with a special thanks to him for “all the books and encouragement.”  I heard echoes of Gus in Grandma Fleet, particularly inContinue reading “GARDENS IN THE DUNES – Leslie Marmon Silko”