Book Review

In 1895, Tsar Nicholas Romanov II and his wife, Tsarita Alexandra, welcomed their first child into the world. Although the Tsar and Tsarita were thrilled with their daughter, Olga, much of the Russian populace was concerned because, of course, the dynasty needed a son. When the Tsarita gave birth to three more daughters — Tatiana […]


One of the things I try to do when I write mini-reviews is find a way to tie the two books together. I don’t think this is necessary, but I think it’s a good challenge. It took me awhile, but I realized yesterday what the two books I’m going to write about today have in common: […]


How I’m Reforming My 168 Hours

by Kim on January 8, 2015 · 47 comments

One of the things that started to bug me in 2014 was my contribution to the “cult of busy” or “the busy trap” – the way people have of lamenting how busy they are in such a way that it becomes a kind of humblebrag, a complaint disguised as a boast to show how important […]


In addition to writing about books here at the blog, I’m also lucky enough to do some freelance reviewing. Most of it is for The Cap Times, a weekly news site in Madison, Wisconsin. I interned at the paper when I was in grad school and continued to do some writing about books when I lived […]


One of the unexpected benefits of slowing down my blogging pace this year is that I’ve only been reviewing books that I really feel compelled to talk about. Today I’ve got two books that I want to shout about from the rooftops and that, I’m almost certain, will make my favorite fiction of the year […]


I hate starting out blog posts with apologies, but this tweet from Andi (Estella’s Revenge) pretty much sums up life over the last couple of weeks: Why did the “I’m too busy to breathe” slumps have to hit during #nonficnov? — Andi Miller (@estellasrevenge) November 17, 2014 I had high hopes for a thoughtful, nuanced […]


The first archaeologist that comes to mind for me is Indiana Jones. The second is Amelia Peabody, the quirky Egyptologist made famous by author Elizabeth Peters. While there are some nuggets of truth about what it means to be an archaeologist in both of those pop culture portrayals, the real lives of the people who […]


Last fall, I indulged my occasional soft spot for quirky young adult stories with Warm Bodies, a contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet via the love story between a zombie and a human. (SPOILER ALERT) Inexplicably, the love between human Julie and zombie R manages to reverse whatever virus caused the mass zombification in the first […]


I love to read books that take me to places I will never get to see, or help illuminate cultures that, without an engaging guide, I will never have a chance to understand. One of my favorite books from 2013 that did just that was Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy, a look at lives of […]


American history is full of grand moments, terrible moments and what were they thinking moments. The Lost Tribe of Coney Island by Claire Prentice is about one of those strange moments in history made even more bizarre by of the actions of carnival huckster who turned out to be a bigamist and a criminal. From the book […]