The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a book I’d heard about but probably wouldn’t have read if it weren’t for book club. (Are you noticing a trend? I say that about a lot of the books I read, which is just one of the many reasons I love my book clubs.) As with most books I put off reading, however, I was glad I finally got to this one once I made it a few chapters in. Continue reading
Long before I knew about Goodreads and before I’d even figured out how to place holds at the library (it’s hard to remember those dark days), people kept recommending the same book. Not just people, actually. Women. Women I knew at church, women in my book club, friends who knew I liked to read were all recommending The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Like so many recommendations, I fully intended to read the book, but it never quite made it to the top of my list at any given time. When a friend picked The Red Tent for book club last month, however, I was thrilled to finally see what all the fuss was about. Continue reading
I mentioned earlier this week that I was nearing the end of The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. I actually finished it that very same day, but it’s taken me until now to figure out what I want to say about it. I haven’t read a book like it in a long time (if ever).
First, the basics. A golem (that’s fable speak for clay man [or in this case, woman]) stranded without a master and a jinni recently released from the flask where he spent the last thousand years meet on the streets of New York one night at the turn of the 18th century. As the golem (Chava) and the jinni (Ahmad) form an unlikely friendship, their respective immigrant communities get caught up in the same story. It’s fable, fantasy, and historical fiction wrapped up in one. Continue reading
I grew up loving Star Wars, so I have complicated feelings about the current popularity of the franchise. On the one hand, I love how easy it is to find Star Wars books, t-shirts, and coloring books. On the other hand, I worry that it won’t be the same weird, secret club for my children that it was for me. It’s just so normal these days. That said, my children (and their gift-giving grandparents) have embraced Star Wars with open arms. Of all the toys and books we have floating around our house, only one has been the family favorite for years: Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. Continue reading
I’d already read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy when he published the first book of a companion trilogy, The Alloy of Law in 2012. I’d intended to read it right away, but I kept forgetting about it. Fast forward to 2016 when I heard Sanderson talk about the second series on a podcast. He said that he’d intended Mistborn to be an ensemble heist novel, but that it kept working its way back to high fantasy. With The Alloy of Law, he said, he’d written a book in the same universe that captured the tone he was going for originally. I love a good heist story, so I grabbed a copy and finally got to reading. Continue reading