O Beautiful

O Beautiful by Jung Yun (coming November 2021) is the story of the return of Elinor Hanson, a forty-something former-model-turned-journalist, to North Dakota near her hometown. Avery is a town full of changes brought by the oil boom in the Bakken shale, where people sleep in parking lots because there are no hotels to beContinue reading “O Beautiful”

The Queen’s Gambit

I wanted to like The Queen’s Gambit (1983) by Walter Tevis. Although he died in 1984, many writers list him as one of their favorite authors. (See The Writer’s Library, by Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager.) I’ve always wanted to learn to play chess, so was drawn to the idea of a girl/woman chess player,Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit”

The Night Tiger (spoilers)

Spoiler and Fatphobic Writing Warning: Don’t keep reading if you don’t want to read specific instances of fatphobia or the identity of one of the villians from Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger, which is generally reviewed here. I didn’t see the subtle fatphobia present while I was reading The Night Tiger, which I generally loved,Continue reading “The Night Tiger (spoilers)”

The Awkward Black Man

The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley (2020) is a terribly fatphobic book of seventeen short stories. I had a bad feeling when the first line of the first story “The Good News Is” ended with “after a lifetime of carrying an extra thirty pounds or more, I was finally losing weight.” While some ofContinue reading “The Awkward Black Man”

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (2019) tells the story of Cussy Mary, a Pack Horse Librarian in Kentucky during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Cussy Mary, known as Bluet to her friends, is one of the rare “Blue People” of the mountains, whose skin is blue. We don’t knowContinue reading “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”