RaveBookreporterSeveral questions that may be used to prompt the reader’s curiosity and understanding follow each story, and they are useful. The brief biographies and a list of other works for each writer also help establish a framework and timeline for the stories. InOn Girlhood, Glory Edim identifies pieces of literature meant to show Black girls --- and every other reader --- possibilities for living.
Peter Stamm, Tr. Michael Hofmann
RaveBookreporterThe narrators, both male and female, are at once unnerving and heartening in their calm, understated reactions to extraordinary events ... Stamm creates ordinary characters who become the lead actors in extraordinary situations as they follow their instincts. He creates tension with simple sentences and language --- sometimes quiet, perhaps menacing --- then follows the characters and uses barebone frameworks to show what is happening. We may or may not see ourselves in these stories, but through his fiction, we identify the choices we are given day by day. We can only imagine what might happen if we say yes.
PositiveBookreporterThis wide-ranging group of Mosley characters, who are plain-speaking and sometimes comfortable, gives readers inside information about the conversations of Black life ... Mosley’s men speak and reflect in short bursts, surprising us at once with an understanding of the moment’s calamity yet with a naivete that is sure to keep them in their place ... I doubt that Walter Mosley expects readers to look for the golden lines in his stories before they settle down to get to know his men and women. That’s what some of us do, though. His characters’ smartness often boils down to just a sentence, a toss-away thought that illuminates what drives them ... The Mosley voices cover the spectrum from dumb despair to sublime wisdom, from sexual intimacy to orgasms on the Staten Island Ferry. The cities are old, and the jobs are ordinary, but he discovers ways to find some truths and show how all life can play out.
PositiveBookreporterShort story lovers, maybe lovers in general, are in for a treat ... Paretsky has a sharp eye for finding the inequity and unfairness in the world. She addresses human issues of reproduction, childcare and stability in the home --- all often left on women’s plates. She points out injustices to the poor and voiceless, and cruelty for money or power. Through her stories and strong champions, she rights the wrongs as best she can with smart questions, courageous action and humor. is a good book; you will encounter mayhem and murder, while learning about human nature.
RaveBookreporter... compelling in its simplicity and complexity. Each page is rich with understanding of how lives fit together and fall apart. Margot Livesey never pounds the reader with the same, obvious information or a wise authorly voice ... The author’s awareness of how children learn and apply what they know and understand to the world around them is beautifully done ... I appreciated the sense of closure. As truthful as the rest of the novel, Livesey’s concluding paragraph returns to the entire Lang family and the traumatic event. They have managed, and they chip away at the unfathomable.
Kate Andersen Brower
PositiveBookreporterThere are no breaking-news kinds of stories here. After all, the presidents’ foibles and successes have been documented in every conceivable way throughout their tenure in oﬃce, and we already should be aware of many pieces of our history. The joy of Team of Five comes in Brower making connections among these ﬁve men and showing that their love for America was greater than their personal diﬀerences.
Eliese Colette Goldbach
PositiveBookreporter...[Goldbach\'s] description of the initial safety videos and the weeks of training vividly catch us at each moment ... From the belly of the notorious steel mill, Goldbach draws us into the dirt, grime and dust, saying the only thing that shines is the steel ... The final arc of this memoir is Goldbach’s growing awareness of our country’s politics. She reads, argues and comes to realizations about what it means to work in the Rust Belt. That’s the thing that Trump got wrong ... The vibrant orange flame shooting above the Cleveland steel mill comes to represent the history, the mill family, the fight for fairness and equality. As Goldbach visits other cities and returns home to the flame, she realizes that she doesn’t know much about others and how easy it is not to see. And how easy it is not to look.
PositiveBookreporterClaude’s middle- and high-school experiences swing back and forth between brutal and hysterical. Although the novel is told by Claude, and he owns his story as narrator, there is an airiness or sense of distance above the action, noticing the events, marking time ... This coming-of-age story, which ends on a surprisingly solid note, needs Claude to align his past and his future. Even though the violence and brutality of his childhood reappear, so does the familiarity of love.
RaveBookreporter... a joyful, rich riot of words and fresh images ... The individual pieces pelt us like soft rubber bullets in a shooting gallery, aimed at an ever-moving row of metal ducks when the carnival comes to town ... Every page in this collection of small pieces, even one-sentence chapters, gives us moments to pause and wrap ourselves in completely unexpected pleasures. Of course there is laughter --- eating roasted chickens with bare hands, and then talking to really smart dogs and snacking on potato chips in bed --- and there is some sadness. But, mostly, Little Weirds gives us snippets of life. Rubber bullet after rubber bullet.
PositiveBookreporter... descriptions of northern Michigan, especially the beautiful Upper Peninsula, almost create stories of their own ... The characters, who Caputo draws so carefully, may not always see beyond themselves, but the reader is constantly aware of the immense grandeur of wildness and hints of a primordial world ... Seven stories connect exquisitely ... Each piece touches directly or indirectly on the effects of war on the soldiers --- those who return and those who did not go ... shows Philip Caputo’s understanding of tragedy and the events that are sometimes too much for the human soul. By weaving the Upper Peninsula landscape into the backdrop and the characters, his stories become vibrant and memorable.
PositiveBookreporterToo many characters? Too many scenarios? The possibilities may seem overwhelming, to be sure, but Holsinger is very particular with details and patient in building the coming crisis. He does not repeat incidents, but instead prompts readers to remember and make connections for a backstory, trusting us to do our job ... There are the necessary outliers of satire.
PositiveBookreporterThe illustrations and proverbs from Chinonso’s life are beautifully original, painted to match the earthiness and dirt-under-the-fingernails life he leads. We are led into new realizations about Nigerian culture as well as a deeper understanding of our own, thanks to the chi\'s wise interpretation and counsel ... Each of the choices Chinonso makes is influenced by circumstances and people outside his original realm of knowledge or experience, but the effect of his sad adventures becomes what he knows, which is now his world.
PositiveBookreporter.com...a very entertaining adventure revolving around some of the major international events of the 20th century, many involving espionage and awesome mayhem … The pursuit chapters are balanced with chronicles of Allan's chaotic life, each of them highly implausible but oddly possible … Jonasson's book might be best enjoyed across the sofa from another reader, over the course of several days, with an ongoing discussion about the Vietnam War demonstrations, Stalin's moustache, Mao Tse-tung's third wife, or the ineptitude of local authorities.