Review: When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi My rating: 5 out of 5 stars I tore through this shattering memoir in a period of days. As promised in the intro written by Abraham Verghese, the prose that Paul Kalanithi turns out is utterly beautiful. Within just 100 pages, we learn how this young neurosurgeon about to embark on … Continue reading Review: When Breath Becomes Air

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Review: The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion My rating: 3 of 5 stars Another memoir about coping with loss found its way onto my bookshelf, this time unintentionally in a library book sale "hey, I think I've heard of this book" moment. It's a good read, but I think I've had my fill of … Continue reading Review: The Year of Magical Thinking

Review: H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald My rating: 4 of 5 stars The latest best-selling sensation in the "my parent died and my life fell apart" genre, H is for Hawk had been all over my newsfeeds well before it landed on my reading list. I wasn't sure what to expect once I finally … Continue reading Review: H is for Hawk

Review: Thunderstruck & Other Stories

Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken My rating: 5 of 5 stars Reading a good short story collection is like reading a half-dozen or so amazing little novellas. Elizabeth McCracken has drawn upon her own life experiences with grief and loss to craft an incredible collection of stories centered on these themes. Each of … Continue reading Review: Thunderstruck & Other Stories

Review: Torch

Torch by Cheryl Strayed My rating: 5 of 5 stars Torch was Cheryl Strayed's first published work, and it is a novel, but the storyline is going to seem quite familiar to those that have read Wild or Tiny Beautiful Things. That's because it's essentially a fictionalized account of what is now, to Strayed fans, … Continue reading Review: Torch

Review: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman My rating: 3 of 5 stars My friend Gayle recommended this book to me, describing the main character as a "Walter Matthau with a Swedish accent." What better sales pitch than that? I did enjoy my time with Ove, in the same way one enjoys one's time in … Continue reading Review: A Man Called Ove

Review: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is one of the most heartbreaking, moving, and beautifully written memoirs I've ever read. Elizabeth McCracken tells the story of her first son, a tragically stillborn child affectionately nicknamed "Pudding" by she and her husband while … Continue reading Review: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Review: The Empathy Exams: Essays

The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison My rating: 2 of 5 stars I saw this book on at least a half dozen year-end "best of 2014" lists, but it wasn't until it was recommended by another author I really enjoy (Cheryl Strayed) that I decided to pick it up. Maybe this is one of … Continue reading Review: The Empathy Exams: Essays

Review: Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean Moore My rating: 5 of 5 stars I usually don't enjoy books that attempt to be about finding comfort in nature for some reason-- I liken the feeling to the dread when that well-meaning but somewhat pushy friend INSISTS that what you need right now is … Continue reading Review: Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature