Thirteen Reasons Why is a story about a teenager named Hannah Baker who died from suicide. Before ending her life, she recorded a series of cassette tapes in which she explained some of what happened to her that influenced her decision. She arranged to have those tapes sent to the people who had hurt her.Continue Reading “Thirteen Reasons Why – by Jay Asher”
Father-mucker is a work of fiction from the viewpoint of Josh Lansky. He (tries) to make his living by pitching ideas to magazines and movie studios. He is a stay-at-home dad who is currently parenting his two young children by himself while his wife is on a business trip.
Things do not go as planned. This book is, at times, hilarious. It also offers some interesting insights and commentary on parenting, modern culture, politics, and the problems that come when rumors spread.Continue Reading “Father-Mucker – by Greg Olear”
The full title of this book is The Great Influenza – The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. I started reading it during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a book I’d been meaning to read long before COVID hit, and now seemed like a very appropriate time to start.
The influenza pandemic happened about 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic did. There are so many similarities between how people back then reacted to influenza and how people today are reacting to COVID-19.Continue Reading “The Great Influenza – by John M. Barry”
The Sovereignties of Invention is a book of short stories – all of which are at least somewhat creepy. Matthew Battles does a good job of keeping readers in a state of curiosity and wonder, which sometimes leads to dread and horror.
This may not be the book for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. If you like stories that include strange situations that leave the reader wondering what happens next, this is the book for you.Continue Reading “The Sovereignties of Invention – by Matthew Battles”
This is a heartbreaking story of love, and loss, and loneliness. It takes place in Italy, in the 1920’s. After the war begins, everything becomes more uncertain than it was before.
It is the story of love gone wrong, due to misunderstandings. There are unanswered questions, dripping with regret and second guessing. All of this is set in a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, which provides a vivid contrast to the sadness that some of the characters are experiencing.Continue Reading “Restoration – by Olaf Olafsson”
Calvin Moretti dropped out of college and has returned to his parent’s home. He has student loan debt that he must be find a way to pay off. So, he gets a job in something completely unrelated to what he went to college for.
His father is sick, and has been laid-off from his lifelong career as an airline pilot. His mother tells Calvin that they are behind on the mortgage and could lose the house. The story is fiction, but feels like something that many families have lived through.Continue Reading “The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac – by Kris D’Agostino”
Anna, Portia, and Emery – three siblings who are now adults, have returned to their parent’s home. Their mother, Louise, is in the hospital after suffering what has been described as a “massive” heart attack. The siblings are there to be able to visit their mother at the hospital, and also to provide emotional support for their father.
Drinking Closer to Home is about a quirky family, each with their own unique problems. It is about living through situations that I would consider to be neglect, and somehow, being able to come together as a family during difficult times.Continue Reading “Drinking Closer to Home – by Jessica Anya Blau”
Stories for Nighttime And Some for The Day is, as you may have guessed, a book of short stories. One of them could probably fit into a single Tweet!
Each short story feels like a parable or a fable. I got the feeling that there was a lesson in each one, if only I could puzzle out what it was trying to tell me. This imaginative collection of stories refuses to hand the reader an obvious answer about what it all means.
Despite the title, The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets, is not a book about how to provide care and comfort to an unorthodox choice of pet. You won’t find this one in your local pet store!
Instead, it is an intense, creepy, novel about a woman who is kidnapped by a man who owns a gigantic iguana. Diana Wagman does an excellent job of getting into her characters heads, frightening the reader, and building the intensity of the story as it goes on.Continue Reading “The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets – by Diana Wagman”
Bernadette is a quirky, unbalanced, architect who hasn’t worked in a while. Her husband, Elgin, works for Microsoft. They live in Seattle with their wonderful daughter, Bee.
Bee comes home from school with a stellar report card and asks her parents for a trip to Antarctica (a promised reward for good grades). Bernadette disappears shortly before the trip. This leaves her family wondering: “Where’d you go, Bernadette?”Continue Reading “Where’d You Go, Bernadette – by Maria Semple”