Red Rising by Piece Brown is the first in a trilogy and follows Darrow as he tries to escape his upbringing and fulfill his destiny.

books that fail to touch the binder clip in my chest where my heart should be – book reviews for the week

Just finished Red Rising and Golden Son (Books 1 and 2 of the Red Rising trilogy) by Pierce Brown I didn’t have high hopes for Red Rising when I started, but I’d heard so many good things about it that I wanted to give it a fair shot. Both Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games are referenced in blurbs […]

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler is a tense and disturbing girl-in-the-city tale.

horses, magic and that self-destructive waitress crying in the wine cellar – book reviews for the week

Just finished All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy I’ve read All the Pretty Horses before, but when it came up as Clair’s pick for the next book club book, I was happy to dive into the world of wistful cowboys again. All the Pretty Horses is probably the plottiest of the McCarthy books that I’ve read, but the […]


cat daddies, Iran, Serena takes a lover – book reviews for the week

I’ve been away, physically and mentally, for a couple of weeks and I’m struggling a bit to get back into a productive routine. Trenton and I spent five days at an amazing music festival and then, after catching a cold from one of the 55,000 dirty hippies there, I spent the next five days recovering. […]

The Circle by Dave Eggers tells the improbable story of Mae Holland, a horror-movie victim trapped in a techno-thriller.

liberal arts education fails Mae Holland – book reviews for the week

Just finished The Circle by Dave Eggers As a parable cautioning against the perils of privacy loss in the digital age, The Circle fails miserably. I’m inclined to be generous to Eggers, though, and if you set aside the notion that he has anything prescient or insightful to say about big data, sharing, or online privacy (he […]

The inimitable Jennifer Hopelezz presiding over the 2016 Drag Queen Olympics celebrating Gay Pride in Amsterdam

2016 Drag Queen Olympics in Amsterdam

I’d been looking forward to this event all year. I missed out on the Drag Queen Olympics in 2015, arriving too late and with the wrong crowd to enjoy it. This time around I was eager to fully soak in all the rhinestones and sequins, so I got there early, parked myself in a good spot near the stage and […]

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson tells the story of the Fangs, and the unpredictable and sometimes traumatic art they create together

very different ways to deal with traumatic family histories – book reviews for the week

Just finished Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Once I settled into the writing style, I really enjoyed this book. It tells the story of Dana, a black woman from the 70s who travels back in time to protect one of her white, slave-owning ancestors. When Dana first travels back to save Rufus, he’s just a boy. Later […]

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck tells the story of the Joad family as they try to make a new life for themselves out west during the Dust Bowl

embracing and avoiding books by white guys – book reviews for the week

Just finished The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck It feels a little silly to attempt to say anything at all about such a classic piece of literature. I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed reading it, and I’m glad I hung onto it all these years after 11th grade English. The dialogue is written dialectally, […]

Trenton on the beach in Zandvoort, the Netherlands

bike trip from Haarlem to Zandvoort

We started our trip, in earnest, at Haarlem Station. We bought day passes in order to take our bicycles on the train and it couldn’t have been easier. We cycled from our apartment to Amsterdam Centraal Station, hopped on an Intercity to Haarlem and were soon on our way. The Art Nouveau style at Haarlem […]