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 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 Bricks that Built the Houses is written by British poet and rapper Kate Tempest

women in books, bit of a mixed bag – book reviews for the week

Just finished Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood Grace Marks was a real person, a maid convicted of the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, in 1843. She was originally sentenced to death but ended up in an insane asylum, briefly, before spending 30 years in prison and eventually being pardoned. When I was reading this book last […]


#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 […]


#Books of the month – January 2016

January was a dark month. Literally, because Amsterdam is miserable that time of year, and also in terms of my reading picks. It’s April as I’m writing this, but I thought it might be fun to go back and take a look at what I’m reading this year, month by month. I’ll get caught up […]