Quit cooking, start reading

Even as a nonfiction writer, I’ve already managed to lie to you before I even start. Quit cooking, start reading is not quite true — I pretty much never stop reading. Not to eat, brush my teeth, not even when cleaning the kitchen or taking a walk. I read my way through the winter hibernation … Continue reading

Summer reads

Although it got cold and rainy for a few days here in Mid-Michigan, we are expecting temperatures in the 70s and 80s for the rest of June. That means it’s summer books time! I like my summer reading to match the summer movies, light, funny, and full of action. For the past several years Janet … Continue reading

Unpacking loss, unpacking Nox

You can’t know grief until you experience grief.  Its pain is ineffable. It socks your body and mind and ruins all sense of reason, meaning. Anything you’ve believed or held true becomes subject to question when someone you care for passes away because something impossibly ridiculous has happened — a living breathing someone gives up … Continue reading

Return to Edgewood

When I was growing up, my dad spoke fondly about the time in his life when he reread his favorite book, Crime and Punishment, once a year. “On an exceptionally hot evening in July,” he would quote in a funny voice, imitating a friend who didn’t get his love for the book, “a young man … Continue reading

Cover story

Earlier this week I picked up The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. I purchased the book almost a year ago but never started it. Back when I first became the used book buyer for our bookstore, I wanted to buy every book that came across the desk for myself. I forced myself to leave some … Continue reading

TECT Knows Best

Once you’ve failed at everything, what next? **COURANE, Sandor: You are to be sent as a colonist to the agricultural world of Epsilon Eridani, Planet D. You will be part of an integrated farming community. Your future successes and failures will thus be of no consequence to the community at large here on Earth, yet … Continue reading

Getting closer, almost done

Today I finished a book. It really shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I work in a bookstore, I own books, and I’m trying to write one. Reading books goes hand in hand with all of those things. But lately it hasn’t been happening. I’ll start a book and then put it down and … Continue reading

Eva Ibbotson on love and war

Eva Ibbotson’s characters are haunted by the war. Which war? It depends on which romantic historical novel we’re talking about, but one thing’s for sure: neither her brave heroines nor her strong heroes can ever go back to Vienna. Ibbotson (1925-2010), the beloved and bestselling author of chapter books for children such as Which Witch? … Continue reading

No prize for the Pulitzer board

This year when the Pulitzer Prize winners were posted at work one sentence stood out from the rest. “No winner announced for fiction this year.” Was fiction not outstanding this year? I’m sure that sometimes it’s difficult to pick a winner from a selection of books you aren’t impressed with, but doesn’t there have to … Continue reading

Walking the bounds

The internet has recently been celebrating the work of fantasy novelist Diana Wynne Jones, who died last year. I spent my childhood reading and rereading her books, which, as British imports, I could never find for sale. I even retyped a significant portion of one of my favorites, Archer’s Goon, so I could have a … Continue reading