One Station Away by Olaf Olaffsson (2017)

This is a strange book.  Most of the reviews say it's a story about a doctor (Magnus) and the three women that have influenced his life. That's true, but really it's four women, and while they may have all "influenced" him, by the end of the book, I don't feel like I understand or know him… Continue reading One Station Away by Olaf Olaffsson (2017)

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn (2018)

  This page-turning psycho thriller kept me up way too late on a Sunday night and continued to distract me until I finished it a few hours after I got home from work on Monday. All told: about 8 hours of reading over 3 days, squeezing it in whenever I could--ignoring laundry, dishes, cleaning, and grading. … Continue reading The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn (2018)

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott (2017)

Alice McDermott is a beautiful writer.  That sounds cheesy, I know.  But The Ninth Hour had the exact same effect on me as Charming Billy: I could not put it down. Yet it's not a thriller, it's not melodramatic, and it's not a skim-get-to-the-end-quickly type of book. Rather, her understated, poetic approach to detail pulls… Continue reading The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott (2017)

Americanah by Ngozi Adichie (2013)

Aside from a somewhat disappointing ending, I appreciated this story, specifically its Nigerian perspective of being a non-American black in America.  I don't think I often enough distinguished the Black experience into its many subcategories, but I feel  at the very least more informed now. In a nutshell, the story centers around Ifemelu who leaves Nigeria… Continue reading Americanah by Ngozi Adichie (2013)

Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens (2016)

This is a quick, one afternoon read, chronicling one woman's childbirth experience.  Lore shows up at a Manhattan hospital alone with a multi-page birth plan.  We don't know why she's alone or why she has prepared such an intricate birth plan. Over the course of the next eleven hours, she connects with her nurse, Frankline,… Continue reading Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens (2016)

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2016)

A Gentleman in Moscow is a gem of a book that could be just as easily double as a self-help book about how to live life with a positive attitude despite challenging circumstances. The mere suggestion of the self-help genre would undoubtedly ruin the experience, but thematically, it fits.  This novel about a Russian aristocrat, Count… Continue reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2016)

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potuk (1972)

I've never taught this book, and as an English teacher, I'm a bit embarrassed to say I've not read it until now. I do know this: there is no way I could have appreciated this book as a student the way I can as a parent. I'm sure some students would really like it, but… Continue reading My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potuk (1972)