This Is How

This Is How

Rating:  This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More for Young and Old Alike, by Augusten Burroughs. St. Martin’s Press (2012), 240 pages. Fans of Dry, Running With...
Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Rating:  Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, by Peter Godwin. Grove Press (1996), 418 pages. “I think I first realized something was wrong when our next-door neighbor, oom Piet Oberholzer, was murdered. I must have been about six then.” Is this not a just-right...
Citrus County

Citrus County

Rating:  Citrus County, by John Brandon. McSweeney’s (2011), 216 pages. Reviewed by Donna I happened to read this book immediately following The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, although they were published two years apart. They are interestingly similar: both...
The Snow Child

The Snow Child

Rating:  The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. Little, Brown and Company (2012), 386 pages. Easily the best book I’ve read in the last fourteen months. It has everything: Russian fairy tales, pioneer homesteaders, a lost child, a red fox, Alaskan wilderness, an...
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

Rating:  The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, by Helen Grant. Penguin (2009), 304 pages. Back-cover reviews describe this as “atmospheric” and a “modern fairy tale,” words that fail to convey that the last quarter of the book is actually a bona fide horror...
The Invisible Mountain

The Invisible Mountain

Rating:   The Invisible Mountain, by Carolina De Robertis. Vintage Books (2009), 424 pages. This is a book that will make you want to fly to Uruguay and walk the streets of the first village you come to, knocking on doors and asking if you might come in to...
The Family Fang

The Family Fang

Rating:  The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson. Ecco (2011), 309 pages. I normally go out of my way to avoid books described as “kooky” (second only to “wacky” in the category of descriptors that make me cringe) which is why, when I read...
Three Cups of Deceit

Three Cups of Deceit

Rating:  Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way, by Jon Krakauer. Anchor (2011) 96 pages. Vindication!  I read Three Cups of Tea a couple of years ago, well before the scandal broke (via the April 17 episode of 60 Minutes),...
Broken Glass Park

Broken Glass Park

Rating:  Broken Glass Park, by Alina Bronsky. Translated from German by Tim Mohr. Europa Editions (2010), 211 pages. Broken Glass Park is a coming of age novel originally published in Germany (so I suppose I should properly refer to it as a Bildungsroman). ...
A Widow’s Story

A Widow’s Story

Rating:  A Widow’s Story: A Memoir, by Joyce Carol Oates. Ecco (2011), 415 pages. Joyce Carol Oates, in my experience, is a writer you either love or hate (love because of how effortlessly and incisively she maps out the terrain inside her...