• book reviews, Book Reviews

Book Reviews

book reviews, Book ReviewsBeing a writer means being a reader, so why not share some book reviews? I have always enjoyed getting lost in fictional worlds and delight in beautiful and evocative language. It is this love of novels that has prodded me to write. As I began my writing journey, I remember asking myself, “Can I really do this?” Like all artists, I am inspired to emulate art I admire. And so I read—all the time. This is a page where you can keep track of what I’m reading for pleasure as well as for inspiration / research for my next novel. 

As I realized my dream of becoming a novelist, I began to appreciate even more how important it is to spread the word about great books. Writing book reviews helps me engage critically with the work I’m reading and join fellow readers worldwide in conversation. I will post book reviews here but make sure to follow me on Goodreads and BookBub to see my most recent reads! I am also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. You’ll find those (more extensive) commentaries below, but you can check them all out on my NYJB page.

If you’d like to learn more about how my reading is influencing my current writing process, or delve deeper into the inspirations behind my first two novels, Eden and The Nine, just click on Writing Inspiration to the right. I am also excited to share the works of fellow authors whose books I’ve been asked to blurb in the far right column.

Want to chat about a book I’ve reviewed? Have a recommendation for me? Drop me a line to start the conversation!

Recent Reads

book reviews, Book Reviews

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

/
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel The Glass Hotel is the type of book that surprises you with where it ends up. The characters are terrific and the weaving of their experiences is deft. The main character, Vincent, is a whip-smart, beautiful, wounded soul. I especially enjoyed…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

/
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell Where to start? The premise, the language, the way the structure weaves around events and characters. We have all grown up with Shakespeare, but to dive into this historical speculation is a treat nobody should miss. Titled "Hamnet," after Shakespeare's…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Listening Path by Julia Cameron

/
The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention (An Artist's Way Book) by Julia Cameron This is a manual for paying attention. A companion book to the Artist's Way, which I really love, The Listening Path describes a six-week program that takes you to higher and higher levels…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones · NYJB Review

/
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones This review was originally published by the New York Journal of Books. How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House is the type of novel you finish and then return to Chapter One to begin again. Because it is that good,…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi · NYJB Review

/
Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi This review originally appeared in the New York Journal of Books. Burnt Sugar is an incredible novel with messages and characters that remain with its reader far beyond the final line. In this sometimes humorous, sometimes dark, always ephemeral…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

/
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam Maybe not the best audiobook choice for the day after a coup-attempt and the height of a global pandemic, but Leave the World Behind's end-of-the-world omniscient narrator thoughtfully contemplates what matters, who we are, and, even as…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

/
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson The seventeen hour Splendid and the Vile audio book was the perfect companion on a cross country drive. Churchill's bravery, determination, and leadership rang through as did…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Dreamland by Sam Quinones

/
Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones I picked up Dreamland at the suggestion of a person I admire. It details the convergence of our national Opioid crisis and heroine addiction, fueled by criminal drug marketing techniques, an anti-pain…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

/
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth Okay, so a haunted girls boarding school set in Little Compton, Rhode Island... Plain Bad Heroines had me at hello. Emily Danforth has such a punchy and quick-witted use of language that there were always several layers of entertainment…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

White Ivy by Susie Yang · NYJB Review

/
This review was originally published by the New York Journal of Books. White Ivy by Susie Yang White Ivy is a suspenseful novel with a protagonist who is intentionally portrayed as an anti-heroine. It begins “Ivy Lin was a thief but you would never know it to look at her.”…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

/
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson To write a memoir in prose, to distill each experience into just the right words, to leave enough white space on the page for a reader to jump in and participate with the language, that is the work of a master. Reader, you already know…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

/
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman With an equal measure of humor and philosophy, Backman's latest work examines the intricacies of family and home and the anxiety we feel over getting it right. The novel's structure engaged me from the very beginning with its omniscient voice moving…By jbadmin|

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase through one of these links, I may make a small commission (at no additional cost to you), which I will donate to literary organizations in Boston. Thanks!

book reviews, Book Reviews  book reviews, Book Reviews

Books I’ve

Blurbed

book reviews, Book ReviewsZero O’Clock is a beautiful and timely YA novel that is both heartbreaking and whip smart, a glimpse into the world of virtual friendship… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsMt Moriah’s Wake unfolds masterfully, alternating timelines in a way that had me eagerly reading on to the final, most satisfying plot twist… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsWith incredible elegance and insight, Leaving Coy’s Hill strikes a perfect balance between historical setting and a rendering of the inner woman… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsAlthough set in the nineteen sixties, David Hirshberg’s Jacobo’s Rainbow is infused with prescient relevance today… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsElise Schiller’s Watermark is a poignant novel that gripped me from beginning to end. Masterfully structured and told… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsIn her literary debut, Deborah Goodrich Royce has given us the sort of thriller that wants to be devoured in one sitting. Written from… Read More

book reviews, Book Reviews

Hard Cider is a fabulous novel about starting a business, taking on challenges, and building a family. The real treat was… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsReading My Mother’s Son is like opening up a time capsule and sifting among the treasures. 1952 Boston comes alive as… Read More