Blog

Here is where I blog about the books I’ve read. I tend to focus on books about mothers and people who don’t want to be mothers — what some might consider subversive literature.


Free Woman

By Lara Feigel, published 2018. Philippe Petit said “I found out that total creativity involves a certain intellectual rebellion…not to become a criminal, but…you have to do things that are a little bit forbidden. You have to feel free.” It seems that “doing things that are a little bit forbidden” is an important path toContinue reading “Free Woman”

Five Years (a personal essay)

Five years ago today, I arrived in London on a one-year student visa but with no intention of ever leaving. I first visited England in 2003. As an undergrad at Wilkes University, I worked in the English department. I made copies and sorted mail. One day the department received a poster for a study abroadContinue reading “Five Years (a personal essay)”

Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng, published 2017. *contains spoilers* “Would you have been ready to be a good mother?” This is the central question of this novel, but it comes in the final 100 pages of the book. Prior to that, Celeste Ng welcomes us into Shaker Heights, a perfect community where residents don’t “see” race andContinue reading “Little Fires Everywhere”

Educated

By Tara Westover, published in 2018 This is the third memoir I’ve read this year, and the second about an abusive parent/child relationship. As I’m sure many others have already said, this reminded me a lot of The Glass Castle: A child raised by mentally ill and/or abusive parents who fail to provide a lovingContinue reading “Educated”

The Push

It’s not often one of my usual “motherhood” novel picks are page-turners. I am fascinated by books about the realities of motherhood, particularly when they are contrasted with novels of the mid-20th century (and still today) that paint only rosy pictures of pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing. It’s a good thing, since it is essentially myContinue reading “The Push”

Heaven

By Mieko Kawakami; published 2009 and translated to English 2021 The first book I read by Kawakami was Breasts and Eggs, and I loved it so much I requested that all of her books be translated to English. I like to think someone was listening. Although this was published more than ten years ago asContinue reading “Heaven”

Luster

By Raven Leilani, published 2020 Edie is a twenty-something woman trying to survive in New York without any support network. She phones it in at her job, sleeps around the office, and recently met Eric through a dating app. He’s in an open marriage, and Edie is impressionable enough to be impressed by him becauseContinue reading “Luster”

Dept. of Speculation

By Jenny Offill, published 2014 This is my second novel by Jenny Offill. The first was Weather, which I loved. I really enjoyed this novel as well, but the trouble with reviewing her books is that it’s difficult to pin down what they’re about. It’s also what makes reading them so fun. Offill has aContinue reading “Dept. of Speculation”

Starling Days

By Rowan Hisayo BuchananShortlisted for the 2019 Costa Novel AwardPublished 2019 Image by Emel Yasar Photography. This is Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s second novel, and when I saw it advertised I thought it sounded excellent. Mina and Oscar are newlyweds, but have been together for about ten years, since college. They live in New York, andContinue reading “Starling Days”

Consent

Consent by Annabel Lyon, published in 2020 There is so much packed into this very short novel, but it didn’t feel overwhelming. In fact, I sped through it, desperate to find out what would happen next. I don’t think it’s common to classify a literary novel as a page-turner, but Consent definitely hit the mark.Continue reading “Consent”

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