The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

One of the things I’m learning about grief is how many different ways it manifests. I can easily recognize the Kübler-Ross stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), but their subtleties and non-linear presentation often surprise me. One of these surprising things is my complete loss of critical faculties. I can still read for enjoyment, but […]

Persepolis; Or, How To Rebel Like Your Life Depends On It

Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of her childhood, Persepolis, is a punch to the gut – and I mean that in a good way. Satrapi was 10 when the Islamic Revolution transformed Iran. Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s childhood for those next few pivotal years. The comic form of her memoir allows for simultaneously communicating […]

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, Or; A Look At Our Beginnings Without All That Rockets Red Glare Tripe

If you listen to virtually any podcast, you’ve heard promotions for Audible’s audiobook subscription service. Getting all the audio entertainment I need from my various podcasts (for free, I might add), I’ve never been tempted to subscribe. Until! During a recent introduction to his excellent Revolutions podcast, Mike Duncan recommended Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat […]

The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable: A True Tale of Passion, Poison, and Pursuit

Reason number 187 why we made the right choice on Grandma’s assisted living community is the library. Every time I’m there, I spot a handful of titles intriguing enough for me to download samples onto my Kindle right then and there. The latest is a strange, true story I probably never would have picked up, if […]

The Mutual Exclusivity of Scalia’s Brilliance and Goodness

There’s an old rhetorical exercise that asks how God can be both all-powerful and all-loving when pain and tragedy exist in the world. Christians have some bullshit workaround for this logical impossibility that I don’t remember (one of the benefits of being an atheist is you don’t have to carry that shit around in your head […]

Epitaph; Or, What Do You Want In Your Tombstone Story?

Epitaph; Or, What Do You Want In Your Tombstone Story?

I have mixed feelings about Mary Doria Russell’s Epitaph. It’s prequel, Doc, was a charming, gripping, and heartfelt story, not shy of difficult subjects or characters. This is something I tremendously value in Russell’s writing, and made me eager to keep reading.  But Epitaph was different than Doc. Harder, darker. What would have been, in […]

Ambition and Desire; Or, Sucks To Be Married To Napoleon

Josephine Bonaparte was not who I thought she was. Napoleon, turns out, is exactly who I thought he was, except worse. A few thoughts about Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte, by Kate Williams, in no particular order. I picked it up in part because I’ve been a faithful listener of Mike Duncan’s […]

Lucky Me.

Amy Bloom’s Lucky Us is as strange as its cover. Bloom tells us about some weird, wonderful, and terrible people who live haphazard lives in which weird, wonderful, and terrible things happen. The story unfolds quickly through the narrative devices Bloom uses; alternating between different characters’ points of view, and using narration and correspondence in […]