Books That Should Be on Every Writer’s Shelf

I write and teach others how to write, so I have the pleasure/pain of reading and working with lots of books about writing. Recently, my mom asked me a seemingly simple question: “What books do you recommend to learn about writing?” Alas, my brain circuits fried: there are so many! Where to begin? However, now […]

Book Review: “The American Way of Eating”

The best way to describe “The American Way of Eating” by Tracie McMillan is as a cross between Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed” and Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation.” Like Ehrenreich, McMillan goes “undercover” and works at some of the lowest-paying jobs in America: as a farmworker picking grapes, peaches, and garlic; a stocker in […]

Book Review: “American Meth”

“American Meth” by Sterling Braswell is subtitled, “A History of the Methamphetamine Epidemic in America” is misleading…it doesn’t describe the book or do it justice by a long shot. Only half the book is the story of meth; the other half is his memoir, how his life was touched by the drug. Braswell does an […]

Taking “Tiger, Tiger” by the Tail

This is a difficult review to write, because “Tiger, Tiger” by Margaux Fragoso was difficult to read. This is a book about Fragoso’s 14-year relationship with a pedophile named Peter, beginning at age 7 (he’s 51) until his suicide when she’s 22 – so the majority of her childhood and adolescence. The subject matter alone […]

Book Review: “Back to Our Future”

I’m a big fan of David Sirota, and when I saw “Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now – Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything,” I practically squealed. OK, I did squeal. I have been saying this for years, and when someone as smart as Sirota writes a […]

Book Review: “Loud in the House of Myself”

The subtitle of this book by Stacy Pershall is “Memoir of a Strange Girl.” Hey, I think, I’m a strange girl. I open the cover and the inside flap of the dust cover reads: “Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas…” Holy shit! Prairie Grove is […]

Book Review: “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth”

There was no way I could pass up Alexandra Robbins’ newest book, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School. As a former weirdo/nerd/loner who indeed “thrive(d) after high school,” the title alone was an ego stroke. We’re living in strange times (to quote an old Chinese […]

Elizabeth Smart’s Memoir Out Next Year

According to the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog, St. Martin’s Press has picked up Elizabeth Smart’s memoir, which will tell of her kidnapping at age 14, her subsequent nine-month captivity during which she was kept chained and raped, and her eventual rescue. Three books have already been written about this sensational case, but this […]