Book Review: The Followers, by Rebecca Wait

This review originally ran in Shelf Awareness for Readers. Reprinted here with permission.


The Followers starts in the "after": Judith is entering a prison to visit her mother, Stephanie, imprisoned for as-yet unknown reasons. Rebecca Wait (The View on the Way Down) then moves skillfully through time to reveal their life "before." The mother works as a waitress to support herself and her young daughter; Stephanie meets Nathaniel, a charming man who takes an interest in her difficulties. Mother and daughter move in with Nathaniel and his "followers" in order to pursue a new life with a new sense of purpose.

Book Review: The Distraction Addiction, by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang


Every once and a while, a book comes along at exactly the right moment in time. The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul, was just such a book. This one first crossed my radar when Kim posted about it as part of her 100 Days of Books project, and her description immediately leapt out to me:

The Distraction Addiction starts with a good question: “Can we stay connected without diminishing our intelligence, attention spans, and ability to really live?” I like this approach because it addresses both the positive (more connections) and the negative (more distractions) ways that technology impacts our lives. Unlike many books about technology and the mind, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang doesn’t suggest we should get rid of our phones or go off the grid. Instead, he advocates for a more mindful approach where we make deliberate choices about how to engage with our devices and the world. This is one of my favorite books on the subject that I’m due to re-read soon.

Recently: Essays on Feminism, Gender, Race, and Identity

Without realizing it at the time, I've been on a bit of a kick with essay collections lately--especially those related to feminism, gender identity, and race--and particularly the intersection of the three.

Book Review: The Long Run, by Catriona Menzies-Pike


Every once and a while, a book comes along that rings all my bells--and then some. The Long Run is one of those books. Running. Distance running. Trail running, even. Grief. Loss. Meditation. Feminism. History. Feminist history. Memory. Writing. Literature. Books. Here's a book that manages, in the span of a few hundred pages, to talk about dactyls and iambs, trans rights, art history, the Ancients, and distance running without any piece of it feeling out of place. Yes, please, sign me up.

Book Review: Careers for Women, by Joanna Scott

This review modified from a review written for Shelf Awareness for Readers.


Careers for Women is a novel ambitious in scope: Spanning the late 1950s to the present day, Joanna Scott (De Potter's Grand Tour) uses the building of the World Trade Center as a lens through which to examine power, feminism, modernity, progress and the power of dreams to shape a life--or many.

Exploring Poetry: Milk and Honey; Love Her Wild; Delights and Shadows; Mary Oliver

I've long said that I struggle with reading poetry; it's like my brain can't figure out how to look at the words on the page and make them make sense in my head. I've found recently, however, that this is less of an inherent inability than it has been a refusal to slow. down. and read more meaningfully, purposefully. And so I've made a more conscious effort to explore poetry of late. A few stand-outs, in no particular order:


Review: A Line Made by Walking, by Sara Baume

This review originally ran in Shelf Awareness for Readers. Reprinted here with permission.


A Line Made by Walking, Sara Baume's second novel, takes its title from a 1967 artwork by Richard Long. He walked back and forth in a straight line across a field and photographed the resulting flattened path of grass--a testament to Long's existence. In Baume's novel, Frankie, a young woman struggling with mental illness and an unsettling shift toward adulthood, attempts to find her place in the world--and prove that place and her existence in it have meaning. Even the mud on the stoop left by her boots is comforting in its own way: "so I know I must exist after all--that I must still be here."