What I’m Reading…

Book Review: A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Shea Ernshaw brings a painter’s touch to this twisty-turny plot joyride that takes elements of mystery, fantasy, and horror, puts them in the woods, and sees how they all get along when cut off from the outside world.



View all my reviews

Book Review: The Animals by Cary Fagan

The Animals by Cary Fagan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is a strange, awkward tale of a strange, awkward man in a town where nothing ever happens, except the occassional high absurdity that gets assimilated into everyday life quite seamlessly. The humor is painfully subtle, but ever-present, and there’s a lot of the main character falling asleep with pizza on him. Reads like one of those dreams that makes sense while you’re dreaming it, but then you wake up and say– “What… was that?”



View all my reviews

Book Review: Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The writing in Daniel Kraus’ WHALEFALL is assertively top-tier. A visceral, blood-pumping story with perfect emotional pitch, this novel is a breathless page-turner. I especially enjoyed Kraus’ strong research base which creates a very real-feeling crisis (believe it or not, this is a realistic “swallowed by a whale” tale). Science and poetry take turns shining through interesting action writing that plunges the readers into depths of multiple kinds.



View all my reviews

Book Review: The Seep by Chana Porter

The Seep by Chana Porter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


THE SEEP by Chana Porter is quiet and strange, a new utopia for a new era with new discomforts and new questions. Porter’s questing, soft narrative explores the burdens and the wisdom of resistance to easy solutions. Humor, otherworldliness, fantastic worldbuilding, and open-ended possibilities abound.



View all my reviews

Book Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Science fiction at its absolute finest, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries series ALL SYSTEMS RED is downright delightful. A solid adventure-rescue story in its own right is enhanced into something really special with the narration of its genderless, socially anxious, reluctant hero–a robot designed to kill stuff who really just wants to binge watch a show called Sanctuary Moon.



View all my reviews

Book Review: A Raft of Stars by Andrew Graff

Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Andrew J. Graff brings old-school adventure in his debut, RAFT OF STARS. The lovingly described northern Wisconsin landscape is the star in a book that is set in the 1990s, and honestly feels like a book that was written in the 1990s. A very nostalgic read, full of narrow escapes, miracles, and small town misfits-turned-heroes.



View all my reviews

Book Review: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reading Kent Haruf’s final novel is watching a master at work, fluid and effortless. Our Souls at Night is a stunning piece of contemporary realism. Doing so much in few pages and spare language, it left me breathless with its unfettered sincerity.



View all my reviews

Book Review: Shark Heart by Emily Habeck

Shark Heart by Emily Habeck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Listen: I think we all believe, deep down, that there’s a chance we wake up one day and have begun to transform into an animal. In Shark Heart Emily Habeck takes this idea for kindling in a book that burns with hyponotic energy and familiar truth. Life’s hardest roles are those of inevitability and release, and Habeck casts them brilliantly in this moonlight-drenched, ocean-wide love story.



View all my reviews

Book Review: Together we Rot by Skyla Arndt

Together We Rot by Skyla Arndt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This YA debut is wonderfully tender and toothed. Using the natural world’s hostile indifference as inspiration, a group of angry high school kids (one of my favorite kinds of characters) band together to unveil a horrifying secret at the center of their town. I loved the Skyla Arndt’s old-school gothic technique of really dialing in to the physical decay of the mundane settings the kids spend time in, and the love story at the center gives some sweetness to the book’s bite. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of nature nerdery, and overall well-paced storytelling with not a paragraph wasted.



View all my reviews