Greg Hrbek's searing and tense novel about fear, big and small. Not on Fire, But Burning

More books about time travel – is the universe trying to tell me something? Book reviews for the week

Just finished Not on Fire, but Burning by Greg Hrbek This is a powerful and intense book that manages to tackle a lot of Important Topics without becoming overloaded or unfocused. The way that Hrbek initially unsettles you and then manages to stretch the tension out through the book was incredibly skillful. I was in the […]

Half of a Yellow Sun, second novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Getting schooled about the Nigerian-Biafran war and contemplating bubbles in spacetime – what I’ve been reading this week

The monthly posts were getting a little out of control, so I’m switching it up and trying a weekly review of the stuff I’m reading. Just finished Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie While not quite as perfect as Americanah, Half of a Yellow Sun is still better than most of the other novels I’ve […]


Books I read in May

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein I wasn’t surprised to learn that Vogelstein is a writer for WIRED because this book reads like a nicely paced piece of long-form journalism. There is enough historical context to accompany the deeply nerdy stuff so that I didn’t get bogged […]

after a trip to the library, I dumped the contents of my bag on to the table. Pictured here: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Nikon camera, proofreading pens, Grolsch, sandwich

Joining the library when you don’t speak the language

As I’ve mentioned before, checking out books from the Amsterdam public library isn’t free. Considering how otherwise literate and progressive the Netherlands is (with a few notable exceptions), this came as quite a surprise to me. But, like the efficient and functional infrastructure, the beautiful parks and the low crime rate that we presumably pay […]


My favorite books for self-care and their comfort food pairings

Synesthesia is the phenomenon where people have a mix of sensory experiences in response to a particular input. Numbers may have tastes, musical notes may sound like a specific color. Numbers and notes are pretty mono-sensorial for me, but when I’m reading I often associate books with kinds of food. Then again, I’m also hungry all the time so that […]


Minibieb tour of Amsterdam

A lot of things have changed about my reading habits since moving to Amsterdam. The biggest shift came when I had to divest myself of most of the books that I’ve been accumulating more or less since middle school. This has had the obvious result of chopping down my TBR pile into a measly slim stack. […]


#Books of the month – April

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays – Zadie Smith It’s been a few years now since I read On Beauty and White Teeth, but I remember really loving both and I’d consider myself a fan of Smith’s. I would imagine if you are as educated in the world of literary criticism as Smith you might get more enjoyment out of this […]


#Books of the month – March

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon This was a quick, fun-ish read that reminded me a lot of a book I read last year, Lexicon, by Max Barry. Lexicon is a bit more tense with serious implications for complex characters. The Word Exchange, however, had slightly less dire stakes and was more quick-paced romp than dark thriller. The […]


#Books of the month – February 2016

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro The only other book by Ishiguro that I’ve read is Never Let Me Go, which I loved. Other than a similarity in that feeling of being plunked abruptly into a world (a feeling I love), these books have almost nothing in common. I’d heard a little buzz about The Buried Giant when […]