This Holy Life – A Review of Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs

Dear Anita, I do not believe in God, but I do believe this life is holy. This is a difficult sentiment to express to the devout. My words fail me. I think maybe this is what poets are for. Their words sing! And not just a simple melody, an often elaborate harmony that makes the…

On Redemption – A Review of Wendy Walker’s Emma in the Night

Dear Cassie, When something tragic happens to someone close to you, someone you care about – and they tell you that story, you want to believe their story with your whole heart. This is how I entered this story, absorbing every detail Cassandra Tanner told both the psychologist and her parents upon her return after…

The Horror of the Infinite – A Review of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter

Dear Anita, Before he retired, my father was a scientist, specifically, a molecular biologist. I spent a large part of my childhood wandering university hallways splattered with biohazard stickers and fighting the urge to pull the cord on the tall, green emergency showers. Like most scientists, my father was obsessed with the workings of the…

A Journey to the Past – A Review of Emily Henry’s A Million Junes

Dear Cassie, I was first introduced to magical realism in College, with Sarah Orne Jewett’s A White Heron. I instantly fell in love with this genre, and have not come across another one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed until now. This was definitely a refreshing read. Eighteen year old Jack “June” O’Donnell IV lives with her…

On Good Pain – A Review of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

Dear Anita, I find I often shy away from difficult books, sad books. Things that are typically classified as “literary fiction.” I don’t know. I guess I just feel that life is hard enough as it is, why add to the struggle? Recently a member of my book club suggested that we read Jesmyn Ward’s…