The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett

I love big books, but it is still a little daunting looking at an almost 1,000 page book on your to-read shelf. I decided it was time and I'm glad I did. I went into this book knowing only that people loved it. I was unprepared for medieval intrigue! The pages fly by as you …

The Utopia of Rules - David Graeber Have you ever thought you could just stop making capitalism? Or that bureaucracy is actually just the threat of violence? That everything is built on the threat of violence? Or that play is in fact chaos and games are a reflection of our love of rules, a way …

Winter In The Blood – James Welch

Welch tells us a tale of an American Indian living on a reservation in Montana wondering what to do with his grief and his life. He wanders into town and gets involved in the scheming of other people, he distances himself from his remaining family but searches for the ghosts on their ranch. A beautiful …

The Nineties: A Book – Chuck Klosterman

I love Chuck. I remember reading him in the '90s (maybe '00s) and loving his style. So here we are, some 30 years later reading about that hallowed time. A lot of weird shit happened in the '90s. Like watching OJ's slow Bronco escape and the massive ennui when both 2000 presidential candidates were boring …

Fingersmith – Sarah Waters

Historical fiction crime novel by a Welsh author? Sign me up! And then there were twists and turns and changing allegiances. Whew! A fun who-is-the-bad-guy novel I wanted to keep reading and was mad when I had to go to work instead. A love story, of sorts. If this was such a good book why …

Aftermath – LeVar Burton

Did you know he wrote a book? I had no idea until last week. Granted, it came out in 1997 when I was not paying any attention. It's a dystopian future where in 2015 (!) the first Black president (!!) is assassinated and a race war breaks out (!!!). We're in the aftermath of that, …

Childhood, Youth, Dependency – Tove Ditlevsen

Denmark's most famous author(?), Ditlevsen chronicles her youth and marriage(s) in this Copenhagen Trilogy: three books now together in one book, still under 400 pages. Born in 1917, she writes of the poor, working-class neighborhood she grew up in, the difficulties of life in wartime, and her horrible, horrible mother. Good grief her mother is …

Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and An Inexplicable Crime – Ben Blum

What would I do if my cousin robbed a bank? Also maybe write a book. I don't know. But Blum does a great job of opening up his family and his own doubts and fears to give us a look into his cousin's crime. Some of my family have been to Airborne school with the …

A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

Did I like this (essentially) romance novel because I love a good war novel or because my parents and I watched this miniseries when I was a kid and I have fond memories? I for sure would not have picked up this book if it weren't for the memories. I'm glad I did. It has …

A Movable Feast – Ernest Hemingway

As a book person it's hard not to idolize the 1920s Paris writer scene. All that drinking and sex and travel and saving the world through writing. Sigh. Hemingway gives us his "you can believe it's true if you want" account of his time in Paris in the early '20s with Joyce, Fitzgerald, and Stein. …