Can’t We Talk About Something More Graphic? Memoirs With Pictures

Wheelchair

Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is her memoir of caring for her ailing parents, who in general do not think death will occur if it isn't talked about. Chast, a cartoonist for the New Yorker, combines text with graphics to tell the story of her parents' decline and its effect on her, their anxious, […]

Read More

Growing Up With Asperger’s and Autism

eyes shut 2

April is Autism and Asperger's Syndrome Awareness Month. There are plenty of books about what to do if a loved one is diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, but I am going to focus in this post about the personal experiences of those effected. John Elder Robison is the elder brother of Augusten Burroughs, of Running With […]

Read More

Women’s History Through Novels: Michelle Moran

Nefertiti

Michelle Moran writes riveting novels about history from a woman's point of view. These novels are both extensively researched and richly imagined, leading to deeply atmospheric tales. The physical description is also a treat. While there is no question that Moran's heroines operate in a man's world, they more than measure up to those who would destroy […]

Read More

Crimes in Israel

Tel Aviv 1

Liad Shoham's latest book has been translated into English, for which the lovers of noir may be grateful. Asylum City could also be considered a mystery and a delightful one. A passionate volunteer for African refugees in Israel is murdered, and the pressure is on young Inspector Anat Nachmias to wrap it up quickly. Problem is, […]

Read More

Saxon Ladies: What to Read While Waiting for “The Empty Throne”

Viking Sword

Bernard Cornwell has done it again: the eighth book in his Saxon Tales series, The Empty Throne, features not only Uhtred, the wily warrior protagonist of the seven previous books, but Aethelfleadh, the widow of the late king of Mercia in tenth-century England. The couple are united in their dream of a united Britain, shoving out […]

Read More

African American Noir

Harlem 1

Many know Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series (and if you don't, you should), but what do you do when you've finished Rose Gold and are looking for more? Walter Mosley writes highly atmospheric novels set on the gritty streets of LA in the latter half of the 20th century. His character Rawlins doesn't have a badge, he […]

Read More

Some Modern Chinese History in Novels

CP China

China is in the midst of an economic miracle. Being China, it was a long time coming and has lasted a while. The reinvention of the world's second-largest economy and at the same time that of the Communist Party has had a massive effect on its population. These books bear witness to that. Frog by Mo Yan takes […]

Read More

Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement

Nina Simone 1

If you're looking for heroes of the civil rights movement, there are the usual suspects, the names that everyone knows: King, Shuttlesworth, Abernathy, etc. But how about the people who were heroes a little more indirectly? Those who were heroes for other reasons, but lent their fame to the cause? I speak of the entertainers. Lena Horne, Nina […]

Read More