Book Reviews

bone season samantha shannon

Bone Season: a story of magic and romance. Sound familiar?

The hype on Bone Season is this: It’s like a mix of Harry Potter and Twilight. As a bookseller, that kind of marketing is supposed to get me excited, but mostly it makes me roll my eyes. I want a novel, not a weird publisher science experiment, test tube fiction […]

i want to show you more quattro

Short Stories That Don’t Suck: I Want to Show You More

I didn’t want to read I Want to Show You More. It’s hard to write a good short story — it’s even harder to write a book full of them — and most writers can’t do it. A lot of the modern short story collections I’ve read include one or […]

cuckoos calling rowling

Cuckoo’s Calling: Rowling’s Switch from Magic to Mystery

It’s hard to review the new mystery book, Cuckoo’s Calling, without seeing it as a J.K. Rowling novel. I keep wanting to make inside jokes about Hogwarts and Voldemort, or mention the lack of magic, or post pictures of myself in Harry Potter scenarios. And that’s probably a big part […]

i wear the black hat klosterman

Let’s Talk about Bad Guys: Chuck Klosterman’s I Wear the Black Hat

Chuck Klosterman’s new book, I Wear the Black Hat, comes out today, and it’s a study in what it takes to be a villain. In the first chapter, Klosterman (I’m tempted to call him Chuck because he feels like a friend — a smart and funny friend who makes me […]

crazy rich asians

Crazy Rich Asians: Great for the Beach

The easiest way to describe the summer book Crazy Rich Asians is: It’s like Gossip Girl, but with Asians. It has all the hallmarks of Manhattanite/chick lit stories: drama, infighting, backbiting, world travel, designer labels — and money. Lots of money. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Kevin Kwan looks […]

ocean at the end of the lane gaiman

The Good Kind of Magic: Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The new Neil Gaiman book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, comes out today, and all the nerds in the universe (including all the nerds at Church Street) are pretty excited. I really like fantasy books, usually. But the popularity of blockbuster franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight […]

franny and zooey salinger

Reading Pathways: J.D. Salinger

I’m entering Book Riot’s START HERE, Vol. 2 Write-In Giveaway. I know, I know. You’re hearing “Salinger,” and you’re automatically thinking those four little words, “Catcher in the Rye.” And you’re making one of two faces: You’re either looking at me all googly-eyed because you are Holden Caulfield, and you know the […]

life after life atkinson

Again and Again and Again: The Brilliance of Life after Life

Life after Life is the story of a girl, Ursula, who’s born just before World War I and lives through World War II, who experiences so much that it can hardly fit into one life. In fact, it doesn’t fit into one life. You see, Ursula has this little quirk: […]

lean in book sandberg

Lean In: Don’t Knock It ‘Til You’ve Read It

A woman walks up to the counter to order a latte and sees a copy of Lean In, the book its author describes at “a sort-of feminist manifesto,” displayed at the register. She wrinkles her nose a little, and says to the man she’s with, “That book says women should […]