WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light (One World, Penguin Random House 2022) was a highly anticipated read and yet another example of where my expectations for a book are unrealized.  One could argue that it was over-hyped and that’s why it fell short, but I’d argue that its failings are due to not providing enough fleshContinue reading “WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine”

SIREN QUEEN – Nghi Vo

“We were stories that should never have met, or stories that only existed because we met. I still don’t know.” (108) Interior Chinatown meets Big Fish in this gay, fantastical nearly-noir of 1930s Hollywood, and I can’t find the words.  Nghi Vo’s Siren Queen (TorDotCom 2022) is grotesquely gorgeous and unlike anything I’ve ever read. Continue reading “SIREN QUEEN – Nghi Vo”

A CONSPIRACY OF MOTHERS – Collen van Niekerk

South African. Historical. Magical Realism.  Colleen Van Niekerk’s A Conspiracy of Mothers (Little A 2021) is a novel of mothers and the lengths they will go to protect their children.  It’s a novel of magic and calling on the ancestors. It’s a novel of Black, coloured, and white.  It’s a novel of forbidden love, violentContinue reading “A CONSPIRACY OF MOTHERS – Collen van Niekerk”

THE BOOK CHARMER – Karen Hawkins

Practical Magic meets Hart of Dixie but set in North Carolina?  Don’t mind if I do. Karen Hawkins’s The Book Charmer (Gallery Books 2019) is a charmer of a candy read.  It’s a sweet, slow burn set in a magical, lazy southern town in NC.  The first of the Dove Pond series, The Book CharmerContinue reading “THE BOOK CHARMER – Karen Hawkins”

CREATURES OF PASSAGE – Morowa Yejidé

“Nepthys listened to the frightened calls of creatures of passage, their fearsome tales of happenings in the darkest of dark, unaware that she held the light of the path in her hand…” (261) Creatures of Passage (Akashic Books, available 3/16/2021) by Morowa Yejidé is unlike any book I’ve encountered before.  There are echoes of otherContinue reading “CREATURES OF PASSAGE – Morowa Yejidé”

THE SCENT KEEPER – Erica Bauermeister

“We are the unwitting carriers of our parents’ secrets, the ripples made by the stones we never saw.”  And so begins Erica Bauermeister’s The Scent Keeper (St. Martin’s Press, 2019), one of the most tender and magical bildungsroman tales I’ve ever read.  Elements of this coming-of-age story reminded me of Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish, orContinue reading “THE SCENT KEEPER – Erica Bauermeister”

BESTIARY – K-Ming Chang

Jie says she once saw two girl ghosts kissing in the creek. I mishear her and think she means they were cleaning the creek. Why? I say.  Jie says, Because a god made them want but didn’t give them a word for it. Bestiary (One World, a Random House imprint, 2020)is K-Ming Chang’s gritty andContinue reading “BESTIARY – K-Ming Chang”

THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY – Maisy Card

Maisy Card’s debut novel, These Ghosts Are Family ( Simon & Schuster – 3/3/2020), is quite possibly my most favorite read of this crazy year; I don’t typically give stars, but I’m giving this novel an entire galaxy.  The novel is told in a fragmented way that brings to mind the oral tradition of story-tellingContinue reading “THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY – Maisy Card”

CONJURE WOMEN – Afia Atakora

One of my more recent goals has been to read more “new” releases, particularly from debut authors and authors of color.  I ordered Conjure Women because it ticked off several of my boxes.  It is a debut novel by an author of color, but more importantly, it’s the type of book my shelves crave: magicalContinue reading “CONJURE WOMEN – Afia Atakora”

REMEMBRANCE – Rita Woods

“I will not always be here like this for you and your sister. But when the world is black, when you think you are alone, the spirits, my spirit, will be with you, living in your heart. When you don’t know the answers, just listen. Quiet. And the answers will pour into your soul…They mightContinue reading “REMEMBRANCE – Rita Woods”