Book Reviews

This is an index to all the books I’ve reviewed since August 2008, as well as the books I’ve reviewed on this website since May 2013. Books are listed alphabetically by author. A drop down menu provides book reviews by genre (fiction, nonfiction, young adult (YA) and children’s, poetry, and short story collections/anthologies).

GR = indicates that the review is also posted on Goodreads (this is mainly as a way for me to keep track of which book reviews I have posted over there)

My Rating System and What It Means (1-5 stars)

1 star – I really didn’t like this book; would not recommend; many major flaws (typos, plot inconsistencies, etc.); very difficult to get through. (On Goodreads, those that I did not finish are rated 1 star.) 

2 stars – Just OK, but it was significantly weak in more than one key area, such as plot or character development. 

3 stars – A fairly enjoyable book, despite a few issues that I can overlook. It didn’t knock my socks off, but I liked it just fine. 

4 stars – A very strong book, one that kept my interest. Quite a few of my highly recommended reads are 4 stars. 

5 stars – Absolutely incredible! Likely to wind up on my all-time favorites or to be re-read at some point (and I’m not a re-reader). A book everyone should read! Most of my highly recommended reads are 5 stars. 

Ahern, Cecelia: The Gift
Ahern, Cecelia: There’s No Place Like Here

Albright, Madeleine: Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box
Alcott, Louisa May: The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott 1852-1860

Allen, Sarah Addison: The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Allen, Sarah Addison: The Sugar Queen

Baker, Tiffany: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Barbery, Muriel: The Elegance of the Hedgehog (audiobook)
Barnes, Julian: The Sense of An Ending (5 stars)
Barthels, Sarah: House of Silence (review published in Shelf Awareness 1/13/2017)
Baskin, Nora Raleigh: Anything But Typical
Bates Alden, Paulette: Crossing the Moon: A Journey Through Infertility (5 stars) 

Bauermeister, Erica: Joy for Beginners
Bauermeister, Erica: The School of Essential Ingredients

Bausch, Richard: Something Is Out There: Stories
Bennett, Alan: Smut: Two Unseemly Stories
Biden, Joe: Promises to Keep
Bloom, Jonathan: American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Its Food (and what we can do about it) (5 stars)
Blume, Judy: In the Unlikely Event (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6/7/2015)
Bohjalian, Chris: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7/13/2014)
Bohjalian, Chris: The Light in the Ruins (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 8/25/2013)
Bonanno, Kathleen Sheeder: Slamming Open the Door (poems)
Bronson, Po and Merryman, Ashley:  NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
Buchanan, Cathy Marie: The Day the Falls Stood Still

Carter, Abigail: The Alchemy of Loss: A Young Widow’s Transformation
Chafe, William H.: Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal
Chaltas, Thalia: Because I Am Furniture
Chang, Lan Samantha: All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost
Charyn, Jerome: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson (5 stars) 
Coates, Ta-Nahisi: Between the World and Me
Cobb, William J. The Bird Saviors  (GR) (5 stars)
Cohen, Jeffrey A.: The Killing of Mindi Quintana

Collins, Billy: Ballistics
Collins, Billy: Nine Horses

Collins, Suzanne: The Hunger Games
Conroy, Pat: South of Broad
Coplin, Amanda: The Orchardist (GR) 5 stars
Corrigan, Kelly: Lift (audiobook)
Cowell, Stephanie: Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet
Coyote, Ivan: Tomboy Survival Guide (review published in Shelf
Cunningham, Michael: By Nightfall

Daum, Meghan: The Unspeakable and Other Subjects of Discussion (essays)
Davis, Michael: Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street
Dermansky, Marcy: Bad Marie
Donoghue, Emma: Room
Doty, Mark: Dog Years: A Memoir
Dubus, Andre III: Dirty Love (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/13/2013)
Dylan, Bob: Forever Young (children’s)

Ebershoff, David: The 19th Wife
Ensler, Eve: In the Body of the World
Ephron, Nora: I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections (audiobook) GR 3 stars

Erdrich, Louise: LaRose
Erdrich, Louise: The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories 1978-2008
Erdrich, LouiseShadow Tag

Erskine, Kathryn: Mockingbird

Ferraris, Zoe: Finding Nouf

Ferris, Joshua: The Unnamed
Ferris, Joshua: Then We Came to the End

Fields, Danny: Linda McCartney: A Portrait (audiobook)
Finland, Glen: Next Stop: A Memoir of Family
Fischer, Maribeth: The Life You Longed For
Fishman, Lynda: Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy, and Choices
Flynn, Gillian: Gone Girl (GR) 4.5 stars
Forman, Gayle: Leave Me (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/9/2016)
Foulds, Adam: The Quickening Maze
Frank, Joan: Because You Have To: A Writing Life
Furman, Laura, editor: The Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009
Franzen, Jonathan: Freedom (audiobook)

Gaiman, Neil: Crazy Hair
Gaiman, Neil: The Graveyard Book

Garrett, Melissa Luznicky: Precipice (GR) 3 stars
Gemmell, Nikki: With My Body (GR) 3.5 stars
Gerstler, Amy and Lehman, David: The Best American Poetry 2010
Geye, Peter: Safe from the Sea
Gibbons, Kate: Ellen Foster
Gilbert, Melissa: Prairie Tale
Gooch, Brad: Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor
Grass, Gunter: The Box: Tales from the Darkroom
Green, John:  Looking for Alaska

Greer, Andrew Sean: The Confessions of Max Tivoli
Greer, Andrew Sean: The Story of a Marriage

Grisham, John: Ford County (short stories)
Groff, Lauren: Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories
Grosshans, Beth: Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm
Gutkind, Lee and Fletcher, Hattie: True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine
Gwin, Minrose: The Queen of Palmyra

Haag, Pamela: Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules
Hadley, Tessa: Married Love and Other Stories
Hagy, Alyson: Boleto
Haigh, Jennifer: Baker Towers 
Hampton, Kelle: Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
Harding, Paul: Tinkers
Hegi, Ursula: Children and Fire
Heilemann, John and Halperin, Mark: Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime
Henkin, Joshua: Matrimony

Hirsch, Edward: Lay Back the Darkness (poems)
Hirsch, Edward: The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010)

Hoagland, Tony: Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty: Poems
Hoban, Nancy: Loving Frank (audio)

Hosseini, Khaled: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Hosseini, Khaled: The Kite Runner

Ivey, Eowyn: The Snow Child (5 stars)

Jackson, Shirley: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Johnson, Tory: Spark & Hustle: Launch and Start Your Small Business Now
Juster, Norman: Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie (children’s)

Kalanithi, Paul: When Breath Becomes Air  5 stars
Keener, Jessica: Night Swim

Kephart, Beth: The Heart is Not a Size
Kephart, Beth: House of Dance
Kephart, Beth: Nothing But Ghosts
Kephart, Beth: Small Damages (2012) (GR) 4 stars
Kephart, Beth: This is the Story of You (2016)
Kephart, Beth: You Are My Only (2011)

Kingsbury, Karen: Let’s Go on a Mommy Date
Kingsolver, Barbara: High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never
Kogan, Lisa: Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from an Imperfect Life
Koppel, Lily: The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal
Kornblut, Anne: Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What it Will Take for a Woman to Win
Krauss, Nicole: The History of Love
Kristof, Nicholas D. and WuDunn, Sheryl: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Lahiri, Jhumpa: The Clothing of Books (review published in Shelf Awareness 12/20/2016)
Lahiri, Jhumpa: Unaccustomed Earth
Lamb, Wally: She’s Come Undone
Lamott, Anne: Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair
Lefler, Anna: The CHICK-tionary: From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know
LeMay, Kathy: The Generosity Plan: Sharing Your Time, Talent, and Treasure to Shape the World (2009)
Levy, E.J. Love, In Theory: Ten Stories
Lovenheim, Peter: In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time
Lowe, Rob: Love Life 

Madden, Deirdre: Molly Fox’s Birthday
Maguire, James: American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds
Mandel, Emily St. John: Station Eleven (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1/11/2015)
Marsh, Carol D.: Nowhere Else I Want to Be (review published in Shelf Awareness 1/13/2017)
Mallett, Evan: Black Trumpet: A Chef’s Journey Across All Eight New England Seasons (review published in Shelf Awareness 11/29/2016)
Mayes, Frances: Under the Tuscan Sun (audiobook)
McCann, Colum: Let the Great World Spin
McCormick, Maureen: Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My Own Voice
McEwan, Ian: On Chesil Beach (audiobook)
McGregor, Jon: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
McNally, John: After the Workshop
Melton, Glennon Doyle: Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

Mendelsohn, Jane: American Music
Mendelsohn, Jane: Innocence

Monette, Paul: Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
Moriarty, Laura: The Center of Everything (audiobook)
Moriarty, Laura: While I’m Falling

Mortenson, Greg: Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan (audiobook)
Moyer-Fischer, Jackie: An Egg on Three Sticks
Munro, Alice: Too Much Happiness
Murray, Liz: Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

Noonan, Peggy: Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now

O’Brien, Tim: The Things They Carried
Orenstein, Peggy: Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

Page, Tim: Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger’s
Paley, Grace: Fidelity (Poems)
Peele, Lydia: Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing: Stories
Peete, Rodney: Not My Boy! A Dad’s Journey with Autism
Petterson, Per: I Curse the River of Time
Phillips, Jayne Anne: Lark and Termite
Piepmeier, Alison: Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism
Pink, Daniel H: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (2009)
Plouffe, David: The Audacity to Win:  The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory (2009)
Poe, Edgar Allan: Steampunk Poe
Prose, Francine: Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife
Pupek, Jayne: Tomato Girl 

Rave, Robert and Rave, Jane: Conversations and Cosmopolitans: Awkward Moments, Mixed Drinks, and How a Mother and Son Finally Shared Who They Really Are
Reisen, Harriet: Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
Riggs, Ransom: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Sendak, Maurice: In the Night Kitchen
Sax, Leonard: Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls (2010)
Serber, Natalie: Shout Her Lovely Name  4 stars

Shapiro, Dani: Devotion: A Memoir
Shapiro, Dani: Still Life: A True Story

Shea, Ammon: Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages 5 stars
Shear, ClaudiaBlown Sideways Through Life: A Hilarious Tour de Resume
Sheffield, Rob: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut
Shetterly, Caitlin: Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home
Shilts, Randy: And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

Shreve, Anita: All He Ever Wanted
Shreve, Anita: The Pilot’s Wife

Silva, Daniel: The English Spy (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 8/30/2015)
Simmons, Rachel: The Curse of the Good Girl
Simon, Rachel: The Story of Beautiful Girl (5 stars)
Skinner, David: The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published (GR, 2.5 stars)
Skloot, Rebecca: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010)
Soffer, Jessica: Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6/15/2013)
Straub, Emma: Modern Lovers (review published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7/17/2016)
Strout, Elizabeth: Olive Kitteridge

Tamar, Erika: The Garden of Happiness (children’s)
Tancer, Bill: Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters
Tarr-Whelan, Linda: Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World

Veitch, Kate: Without a Backwards Glance

Waldfogel, Joel: Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays
Wallace, Carey: The Blind Contessa’s New Machine (2010)
Walls, Jeannette: Half Broke Horses

Walter, Jess: Beautiful Ruins GR (5 stars)
Walter, Jess: The Financial Lives of the Poets

Waters, Sarah: The Little Stranger
West, Michael Lee: Mermaids in the Basement

Wiesel, Elie: Open Heart
Wiesel, Elie: The Sonderberg Case

Winn, Tracy: Mrs. Somebody Somebody
Winnick, Karen B: Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers

Wolff, Virginia Euwer: Make Lemonade
Wolff, Virginia Euwer: True Believer

Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway
Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse
Woolf, Virginia: The Years

Wright, Charles and Lehman, David: The Best American Poetry 2008