Three Looks at Female Desire in ‘Three Women’

Book review: Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lisa Taddeo crisscrossed the country interviewing women about desire for eight years, eventually selecting three for deep-diving in Three Women. She moved to two of their towns in order to examine desire and the innermost details of their sex lives from their perspectives. I don’t think you would know this was the product … Continue reading Three Looks at Female Desire in ‘Three Women’

‘My Favorite Murder’ Dual Memoir Tackles Mental Health and Personal Issues with Humor

Book review: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark (Amazon / Book Depository) We have gone from living inside your headphones to pouring ourselves out onto the page like a couple of Edna St. Vincent Millays. There aren’t many podcasts that become phenomenons, but My Favorite Murder, styled as true crime/comedy from comedian and writer Karen Kilgariff and former Cooking … Continue reading ‘My Favorite Murder’ Dual Memoir Tackles Mental Health and Personal Issues with Humor

Family, Race, Violence, and the Calculations Made to Survive

Book review: Survival Math, by Mitchell S. Jackson (Amazon / Book Depository) Sirens scream (for who else in the world but you?) in the distance. In a prose style unlike any I’ve encountered before, Mitchell S. Jackson, novelist and writing instructor at New York and Columbia Universities, writes a memoir of his life and tumultuous upbringing in Portland, Oregon. His story is interwoven with those … Continue reading Family, Race, Violence, and the Calculations Made to Survive

Deceivers and Their Believers: Pop Psych on Dishonesty in Love

Book review: Duped, by Abby Ellin (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Abby Ellin, an observer of human nature for her work, couldn’t believe she’d been so deceived. She’d been in a long-term relationship with a man dubbed “the Commander,” a military doctor prone to spinning impossibly tall (and borderline silly) tales and who was secretly writing prescriptions in the names of people close to him. … Continue reading Deceivers and Their Believers: Pop Psych on Dishonesty in Love

Memoir Essays of Abuse, Upbringing and Mental Illness from an Indigenous Voice

Book review: Heart Berries, by Terese Marie Mailhot I avoid the mysticism of my culture. My people know there is a true mechanism that runs through us. Stars were people in our continuum. Mountains were stories before they were mountains. Things were created by story. The words were conjurers, and ideas were our mothers. Terese Marie Mailhot is a woman of the First Nations in … Continue reading Memoir Essays of Abuse, Upbringing and Mental Illness from an Indigenous Voice

A “Family Album” of Emotional, Complicated Relationships

Book review: True Crimes, by Kathryn Harrison Amazon I see the bravado required to be funny and beguiling when what you really are is old and aching and breathless from congestive heart failure, when what you really are is afraid. Kathryn Harrison is such a tricky author. A writer of quietly powerful, serious talents, her nonfiction can be uncomfortably confessional, and is deeply personal to … Continue reading A “Family Album” of Emotional, Complicated Relationships

Life After Liquor: Essays On Quitting Drinking

Book review: Nothing Good Can Come from This, by Kristi Coulter Amazon Booze is the oil in our motors, the thing that keeps us purring when we should be making other kinds of noise. Kristi Coulter’s essay “Enjoli”, named after a perfume ad indicating women should be able to work and still keep it sexy for their men, got a lot of traction online and led … Continue reading Life After Liquor: Essays On Quitting Drinking

David Sedaris on Getting Older, Complicated Families, and the “Sea Section”

Book review: Calypso, by David Sedaris Amazon His most recent publications have been a bit of a diversion for David Sedaris. Last year, he published the first part of his diaries, Theft by Finding, which showed the genesis of some of his well known works, as well as being an unconventional glimpse into his early life and bizarre, often hilarious thought processes. I absolutely loved it, but … Continue reading David Sedaris on Getting Older, Complicated Families, and the “Sea Section”

A Story of a Crime, Sort Of

Book review: Love and Death in the Sunshine State, by Cutter Wood (Amazon / Book Depository) While staying in a motel on the island of Anna Maria in Florida, graduate writing student Cutter Wood witnesses the search for a missing woman, who happens to be one of the motel’s owners, as it begins to ramp up and intensify. Fascinated by the mystery, as I think … Continue reading A Story of a Crime, Sort Of

Fidelity, Identity, Disappearance, Wanderlust

Book review: The Art of Vanishing, by Laura Smith (Amazon / Book Depository) Writer and journalist Laura Smith viewed her upcoming wedding quite differently than what might be considered standard. She didn’t relish being the center of attention. She deeply loved and wanted to be committed to her fiancé, but had trepidations about the institution of marriage and all that it entails – what it said … Continue reading Fidelity, Identity, Disappearance, Wanderlust

Powerful Essays, Brilliant Criticism From Mary Gaitskill

Book review: Somebody With a Little Hammer, by Mary Gaitskill (Amazon / Book Depository) Novelist Mary Gaitskill, in her nonfiction essays, makes you think, and not just as you read. The content of these essays – in all their depth, humor, pain, wit, and wisdom – stays with you long after finishing. As does the feeling that you’d like to be friends with her, or at least … Continue reading Powerful Essays, Brilliant Criticism From Mary Gaitskill