Holy the Firm, The Boys of My Youth, and the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

Essay mini reviews today, plus exciting news from the wonderful Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out: the Nonfiction Reader Challenge is back! Annie Dillard's 1977 Holy the Firm is a brief book, more like an extended essay. From 1975, Dillard lived in a one-room cabin on an island at Puget Sound for two years. It seemed like... Continue Reading →

Annie Dillard’s Nonfiction: Teaching a Stone to Talk & An American Childhood

Reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek last year was one of those infrequent, world-altering reading experiences for me. Exciting, then, to realize what a back catalog of nonfiction Dillard has. I read Teaching a Stone to Talk, an essay collection, last year as well. I find her writing worlds apart from any other author I... Continue Reading →

Coming of Age in Cold War America

Book review: A Girl's Guide to Missiles, by Karen Piper Amazon Karen Piper, a professor of literature and geology and author of several books on environmental issues, writes a personal memoir about her life, including scenes from her childhood growing up in the 1970s in China Lake, a secretive missile range in the Mojave Desert.... Continue Reading →

Scenes from a Panic

Book review: Little Panic, by Amanda Stern (Amazon / Book Depository) I am always in the future somehow, separated from my body, and it’s from there I feel sad for the moment I’m living. Soon this moment will be gone; it will turn into another moment that will go, and I think I must be... Continue Reading →

Obsession on the Upper East Side

Book review: You All Grow Up and Leave Me, by Piper Weiss (Amazon / Book Depository) In this Gossip Girl meets true crime hybrid memoir, the story of Gary Wilensky, private tennis coach to wealthy Manhattan teenagers who made a thankfully unsuccessful abduction attempt of one his students, is recounted alongside the author's growing pains. She had... Continue Reading →

You Can’t Go Home Again

Book review: Educated, by Tara Westover (Amazon / Book Depository) Not knowing my birthday had never seemed strange. I knew I'd been born near the end of September, and each year I picked a day, one that didn't fall on a Sunday because it's no fun spending your birthday in church..."I have a birthday, same as... Continue Reading →

Making Light of a Soviet Childhood

Book review: Everything is Normal, by Sergey Grechishkin Book Depository Railways and trains in Russia have always been much more than just pragmatic modes of getting from point A to point B. For a Russian soul, a never-ending train journey across the empty vastness of its land is a state of mind, a meditation, an... Continue Reading →

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