Nix The Nix

Nix The Nix

The Nix by Nathan Hill was the It book of late summer. Everywhere you turned there was effusive praise and comparisons to John Irving and Charles Dickens, and while I can generally avoid these kinds of books, the author’s local connection (he’s on leave from a teaching gig at St.…
The Reality Behind Fiction

The Reality Behind Fiction

Whether he meant to or not, Claudio Gatti created a line of demarcation only a few months ago. Did you read Elena Ferrante before the Italian journalist supposedly revealed the real author behind the pseudonym or were you an early adopter, able to read the Neapolitan Quartet before her true…
The Masked City

The Masked City

At the end of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, a book I really enjoyed, we uncover a secret about librarian Irene’s assistant Kai. His secret plays a big part in book two of the Invisible Library series, The Masked City. In The Masked City, we begin by seeing that…
All the Writerly Shenanigans

All the Writerly Shenanigans

For a wholly different and more enthusiastic take on All the Missing Girls, I’d like to direct you to LeAnn’s review. She loved this one. I did not. A few weeks ago I expounded on my theories about mysteries whereby some are thrillingly good and literally keep you guessing while…
Irena’s Children

Irena’s Children

Have you heard the name Irena Sendler? The Irena Sendler who is called the “female Oskar Schindler” because she helped rescue more than 2,500 Jewish children in Warsaw in WWII? If you haven’t heard of her, don’t feel bad, most people haven’t, and I certainly hadn’t until I read the…
Not the GenX Novel I was Looking For

Not the GenX Novel I was Looking For

When I read a review of Alice Adam’s Invincible Summer that described it as a novel that attempts to define a generation, specifically GenX, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. I’m all in for GenX novels, being a GenXer myself and kind of loving the zeitgeist we…
March Books One, Two & Three

March Books One, Two & Three

March Books One, Two, and Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and illustrator Nate Powell will go down in history as some of the best graphic non-fiction ever created. Telling the story of Congressman John Lewis’ fight during the 1950s and 1960s civil rights movement, these books show the bravery…
Unlocking ‘Tony and Susan’

Unlocking ‘Tony and Susan’

Austin Wright’s Tony and Susan is a Matroyshka doll of a novel – a story within a story in which the main character’s reality blurs with the fiction she’s reading. When the plot is interesting enough to engage the reader, it’s an appealingly complex knot of words. The Susan of…
Dark Matter

Dark Matter

I’d never heard of Blake Crouch until I stumbled upon the TV show “Wayward Pines.” I don’t remember exactly what episode I stopped watching the show, but it was the one where they revealed the big secret I know would’ve looked way better in my head than it did on…
All the Pretty Words

All the Pretty Words

Tess is a twenty-two-year-old running from, I think, boredom, claiming she was reborn when she crossed the George Washington bridge. Upon arriving in New York City, Tess gets a job at one of the best restaurants in town. The kind of restaurant where “back waiters” can make $60K a year,…
A Few Thoughts on Recently Read Mysteries

A Few Thoughts on Recently Read Mysteries

I’ve become intrigued by mysteries lately. Mostly since one of my writing group friends mentioned how he was writing a bunch of “work for hire” choose-your-own-adventure mysteries. I was confounded by the idea. Writing a choose your own adventure book sounds really hard and then to make it a mysteries…