The Barrowfields

Henry Aster, Senior, is a bookworm in a town where books are considered oddities and no one understands his passion for the written word. When he leaves home to fulfill his dream of  becoming a writer, he has no plan to return but fate, and a sick relative, eventually draw him back to his Appalachian mountain hometown. When he moves…

The Roanoke Girls

Remember that crazy country and western song, I’m my own grandpa…? The lyrics offered a comedic look at the family dynamics created when a man marries an older woman, who also happens to be the mother of his father’s young wife. By ignoring the “step” prefixes, the singer realizes that since he is step father to his father’s…

Things We Lost In The Fire

If you didn’t believe in ghost stories before, this book might cause you to reconsider. Not just the otherworldly ghouls that appear in the pages but the lingering effects of bad decisions that haunt us like ghosts of times past. Things We Lost In The Fire is Mariana Enriquez’ short story collection set in Argentina…

MEXICO

Hear the word MEXICO and some sensation reaches your brain. You might get an image of a mariachi band member wearing a sombrero and a smile, the twanging from the guitar slung across the front of his elaborately decorated costume, perhaps? Maybe the taste of tacos or freshly made guacamole and tortilla chips pricks your tastebuds, the smell of…

Own It

Remember the professional clothes that women wore to work in the 1980s? They were tailored suits with shoulder pads that made them look like they were heading for a career in the NFL. That was just one of the many attempts us women have made to disguise our femininity so we could be seen as part…

Shylock Is My Name

I have a lot to say about this book, it being my first read of 2017 and all. My Name Is Shylock is a retelling of The Merchant of Venice and if you just want to read a short review, here it is: **** The writing style is complex, the vocabulary is intense although not so…

Add Some Fairy Dust

By nature, we are visual people. We communicate with words but even then, it is to paint a picture so someone else can see what we see. Art is still our most effective medium and the ability to sketch an idea in a way so others can see your vision can make the difference for any presentation,…

Weapons of Math Destruction

“Math is life” is a statement I tout to my students often. But quite often in our society, the way we use math is to our detriment, instead of our benefit. Weapons of Math Destruction is a fascinating description of the algorithms we use to describe and predict life and how we are affected by those…

Coming Back From Behind And Winning

I don’t know what you were doing when you were 24 but I know I wasn’t writing business plans and getting funding to start an Internet company that would go on to make millions of dollars. That’s what Jessica DiLullo Herrin did in her twenties and again in her 30s. She was a so-so high…

Do You Need Drugs?

If you grew up in a household like mine, you might have heard the saying, “Belief kill and belief cure.” My mom, tender hearted as she was towards her children, let us know in no uncertain terms that we could make ourselves better if we believed we were already getting better. Sure, she would put…

Good To Print

In the print-making industry, Bon à Tirer is a French phrase meaning “good to print”. Bon à Tirer is the standard by which each print is measured. The care that goes into preparing the pattern, the ink, the medium, all of it has to be checked and everything has to adhere to some pre-determined standard…

What Productivity Looks Like To A Procrastinator

Recent college graduate, Chris Bailey, had two awesome full-time job offers. But like many recent grads looking to delay their foray into the real world, he took a year off instead to delve into a project he hoped would change his life forever in a good way. Like many others before him, Bailey started a…