“Was it really worth it? Elena thought as they prepared her for the sacrifice. Was any of this really worth it at the end of the day? Sure, pursuing a PhD. had given her a chance to think deeply about issues that she cared about…But was it really worth it for her? At a certain […]
Read more "“Adjunct” by Geoff Cebula"
Recently widowed, Deborah signs up for a garden share scheme so that someone will take care of her late husband’s garden. The person assigned to share her garden is Luca, a stunningly handsome young man with a criminal past. Although seeming to have nothing in common, Deborah and Luca develop an understanding and are able […]
Read more "“The Former Chief Executive” by Kate Vane"
Maggie O’Hara is an unhappy teenager with boring, unsympathetic parents. Then her grandmother arrives from Ireland to stay with them, and gives Maggie a new name–Kate–and a new view on life. Through her grandmother’s stories, Kate find out about their ancestor Caitlyn Murphy, with whom they both feel a strange kinship. When tragedy strikes, Kate […]
Read more "“Between Darkness and Light” by Susan Schachterle"
So, when I’m not writing fiction or book reviews (or working), I’m being chronically ill. Actually, I’m chronically ill all the time now, and all that other stuff has to be worked around the illness issues. I recently had a piece come out in “The Mighty,” which I originally entitled “Why Students Need Sick Faculty,” […]
Read more "My Essay on Chronic Illness in “The Mighty”"
“The Five Warriors” follows five warriors on a mission–some more reluctantly than others–to save their world from the an evil immortal being. Only some of them may be working for the enemy… Like “The Blended Ones,” the second book in this series (but which I read first), the world-building in “The Five Warriors” borrows elements […]
Read more "“The Five Warriors” by Angela J. Ford"
I have a hard time reviewing this book objectively, since so much of it feels almost creepily like I’m reading about myself. The descriptions of the crawling horror of the illness that takes over Rehmeyer’s life are so painfully familiar that I had a hard time restraining myself from shouting out, “Ha! It’s not just […]
Read more "“Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer’s Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn’t Understand” by Julie Rehmeyer"
“Warrior Patient Rule No. 1: Choose to live. Take personal responsibility for getting better. It is not your doctor’s job. It is not God’s job. It is your job. God and your doctors might help. And they might not.” This is the first rule Temple Williams gives in his often humorous, and even more often […]
Read more "“Warrior Patient” by Temple Williams"
When teaching a survey class of Russian literature, one of the more vexing questions is which text to pick. You want to give students an idea of the breadth and richness of Russian literature, but not overwhelm them with impossible page counts. Of course they SHOULD read “And Quiet Flows the Don,” “Life and Fate,” […]
Read more "“50 Writers: An Anthology of 20th-Century Russian Short Stories”"
It’s 1989, and Matt Garrison is getting ready to graduate high school and leave for college like any other 18-year-old. Except that he isn’t your typical 18-year-old: he’s still haunted six years later by the drowning death of his cousin. And then one night he finds himself in the bed of his best friend’s mother […]
Read more "“Redemption Lake” by Susan Clayton-Goldner"
In “Wolf Hunt,” the threads of village passions come together as a group sets off on a wolf hunt that serves as a pretext for something even more murderous. Living side-by-side for decades, right through the upheavals of WWII and forced collectivization, has inflamed resentments rather than drawing people together, leading to a violent denouement. […]
Read more "“Wolf Hunt” by Ivailo Petrov"