Boston Girl Readalikes

hadassah 1

For those of you waiting for The Boston Girl, I have a few suggestions while you wait. First, let me tell you are in for a treat in Anita Diamant's latest, about a young woman who works her way from tenement child to a social worker. Addie Baum is as old as the century when her granddaughter […]

Read More

“Handmaid” Hits 30: Readalikes

Handmaid's Tale 2

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale turns 30 this year, and as an avid fan of the book, I'd like to propose some readalikes. For those of you not familiar with Atwood's dystopian story, the United States has been taken over by Christian fundamentalists and (supposedly) biblical rule is the law. There's also a venereal disease going around that makes […]

Read More

Perseverance is Triumph: Lalita Tademy

Cane River cabin

Lalita Tademy used to have a high-powered job at Sun Microsystems before delving into her genealogy, leading to three books (so far) imagining her family's history. The  results are historical novels that tell of little-known parts of the American narrative, which we forget to our peril. All three family sagas are moving, atmospheric, and accurate down to the smallest […]

Read More

I’m Dreaming of a Dark Christmas

Trees surrounded by fog

I'm the first person to sit down with a cup of cocoa and a cheesy Christmas movie (Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas, anyone?), but after a surfeit of sweet films and books, a little sorbet is in order. Apparently, I'm not alone on this one, as there is a long tradition of Christmas Ghost Stories. Whether you […]

Read More

Moran More

caitlin moran 1

Caitlin Moran made a splash two years ago with her book of essays, How to Be A Woman. While better known in England than here in the States, her body of work so far will hopefully rectify that. How to Be a Woman goes roughly in chronological order, from Moran's burgeoning adolescence in Wolverhampton to contemplating her mortality […]

Read More

Tough Broads II

strong woman 1

As winter closes in at the time of this writing, I highly recommend Nevada Barr and her Anna Pigeon mysteries for some gritty armchair adventure. Anna Pigeon is a National Park Services employee (she advances through the ranks as the series progresses) who tends to stumble on suspicious deaths in the great outdoors. Barr is a master of […]

Read More

Epic Yarns in Teen Fiction

yarn, knitting needles

Back in the day knitting used to be grandmas making ugly, itchy sweaters that never fit right and that you never EVER wanted to wear in public. Now, thanks to the DIY revolution, I'm getting some of my favorite patterns from teens and there are at least two video games featuring yarn (Kirby's Epic Yarn […]

Read More

Dancing Through Books

dancer's feet in tondue

When I was young, I dreamed of being a ballerina. Not in a casual way - was serious about it. (And by serious, I mean sort of a little bit obsessed.) And to this day, I will immediately grab any book that is a tiny bit about dance. Pointe shoe on the cover? Done. Street dancers mid […]

Read More

Tough Broads

tough broads 1

It is with great pleasure that I welcome a new author to the mystery genre: Minerva Koenig. In Nine Days, she creates truly memorable characters and a quick-turn-that-page story. Julia Kalas is staring down forty and is not a completely socially acceptable dress size. An expert house renovator and remodeler, she is now in the federal witness protection […]

Read More

Ladies of Dagenham, Unite!

We_Can_Do_It!

Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins) is nothing out of the ordinary, working at the Ford factory and raising her children with her husband in their blue-collar suburb of London in 1968.  O'Grady works in the all-female section of the plant sewing seat covers, along with 146 other women. What starts out as a dispute over job designation grows into […]

Read More