Pint-Sized, Plucky, and Preternatural


As anyone who follows this blog knows, I am a big fan of Alan Bradley and his Flavia de Luce mysteries. In addition to singing the praises of his latest in the series, I also would like to mention two other authors that may appeal if you like spunky, pint-sized heroines. First, Bradley's Thrice the Brinded […]

Read More

The Passion! The Drama! The Death! Opera Mysteries


Like history? Like mysteries? Like opera? These books have plenty of all three. If you're not so sure about opera, read for the other stuff and you might come around. None of these books require expertise in opera or history, so if you just like figuring out whodunnit, there's that, too. Lorenzo Da Ponte is Court Poet […]

Read More

Save The Books!


It is said that those who burn books have no problem burning people, and that has certainly been true over the past century. Whether Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, tyrants have tried to control people by controlling culture and the past. Fortunately, there are people like those documented in The Monuments Men (read my blog post on that here) […]

Read More

A Woman in Charge of her Life: 3 Recent Feminist Memoirs


Going with the idea that the personal is political, those involved with women's liberation often write first-person narratives of their lives and work. These are three of the most recent and entertaining. Author and journalist Jessica Valenti writes of the psychological effects of sexism in her memoir Sex Object. From her family history of abuse to […]

Read More

We Come In Peace: Benevolent Aliens


While aliens have often been a good excuse for books and movies in which to blow stuff up, occasionally they are actually friendly and trying to look out for us. The results are often amusing. These are three books about extraterrestrials and the hilarity that ensues with first contact. Ralph loves Andy Warhol and American pop culture. […]

Read More

Autumn in New York: 3 Recent Stories of the Gilded Age

Coney Island

It's time to celebrate Autumn, and what better way to do it than with books about New York? Of course, with so many books about that place, one has to winnow it down somehow. I've decided to highlight some new titles about Old New York in the Gilded Age. Graham Moore has written a legal thriller, The […]

Read More

Who Was Mata Hari?

Mata Hari

With the recent publication of Mata Hari's Last Dance, Michelle Moran expertly paints fiction between what we know for sure about the famed dancer, courtesan, and terribly inept spy. Born Margaretha Zelle in Holland, Mata Hari chose her stage name upon coming to Paris after a miserable youth. Teaming up with the ambitious lawyer/agent Edouard Clunet, she […]

Read More

Tough Broads 3: Broads In Space

Peggy Whitson

Are you a fan of captains Kathryn Janeway and Susan Ivanova? Think Rey may be the best new character in a galaxy far, far away? Then there are books to keep you occupied between installments. These are the newest in the tradition of female derring-do among the stars. K.B. Wagers' Behind the Throne stars Hail Bristol, heir […]

Read More

Another Opening, Another Show…

featured image

Shakespeare-in-the-park season is almost over, and the regular theater season is about to pick back up again. Here are a few books to keep you occupied, whether you're waiting for that callback or for the curtain to rise. While one might enjoy Song of Spider-Man (read my blog about it here) for its train-wreck hilarity, it's nice to […]

Read More

…So Close to the United States

featured image

While Pancho Villa lamented Mexico's proximity to the United States in relation to its distance from the Almighty, those of us in El Norte can rejoice as we have these books, full of suspense and local color, to take us there vicariously. Lili Wright's Dancing With the Tiger could have been a huge mess. There are lots […]

Read More