Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Stories from the Kitchen: The Joy of Cooking by Elissa Schappell

After reading A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf last week, I immediately put a request for Lara Vapnyar’s Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love at the library. And now I’m going to do the same for Elissa Schappell’s Blueprints for Building Better Girls from which The Joy of Cooking is taken! […]

Maigret and the Ghost by Georges Simenon

It is winter in Paris, and Maigret has just arrived at home in the dead of the night to catch up on sleep after wrapping up rather a difficult case. However, Maigret’s plans are shattered when Inspector Lapointe visits him at daybreak to inform him of a shooting that has happened on Avenue Junot. Inspector […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf by Lara Vapnyar

In A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf, Nina is a Russian immigrant living in Brooklyn, New York. Nina had developed a fascination for vegetables soon after she arrived in America – she still remembers being delighted by the sight of “colorful piles of oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers” outside a small Chinese grocery store in […]

My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education by Jennine Capo Crucet

In My Time Among the Whites, Jennine, through a series of autobiographical essays, dissects what it means to be a first-generation minority college student and the excitement and confusion that came with it, not just for her, but her family as well, while also exploring other topics. From the moment I read about Jennine’s trip […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Short Friday by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Before Short Friday I had never read anything by Isaac Bashevis Singer or even heard of him. Isaac is a Nobel Laureate and a notable author in Yiddish literature, who incorporated his orthodox Jewish roots into his writings despite identifying himself as a sceptic. Like many of his stories, Short Friday revolves around a struggling […]

The End of the World and Other Catastrophes Edited by Mike Ashley

When the British Library Science Fiction Classics series first came out, I planned on going through them in the order they get published. But ever since I received The End of the World and Other Catastrophes, I’ve been itching to read it. With catastrophic disasters striking more often nowadays, and the increase in the likelihood […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Kitchen Allegory by M. F. K. Fisher

As she chopped herbs and sliced asparagus and poured boiling water and added the magic dash of brandy to the mixed soft meat, she kept thinking, but not in a frantic way at all, about never seeing two more people again… All she wanted to do was make them full of her love, her food, […]

29 Seconds by T. M. Logan

At age sixteen, when Sarah reached a crossroad in her life after a period of teenage rebellion, her dad had urged her to pick the direction she wants her life to move: upwards or downwards. Taking upon his advice, now at thirty-two, Sarah has done well for herself. She has earned a PhD specializing in […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Tea by Saki

Next up in Stories from the Kitchen is an excerpt from Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel Ami. There are a few excerpts included in this collection, and I’m not sure of the rationale behind it – although they might entice readers to pick up the novels, these are not short stories. So I will be skipping them. In […]

Certain American States: Stories by Catherine Lacey

Similar to Kimberly King Parsons’s Black Light, Catherine Lacey’s stories in Certain American States feature lost, broken individuals who are in various states of mind. These people are at turning points in their lives going through loss – be it the loss of a loved one, or merely a sense of lack of direction in their lives. So […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Love and Oysters by Charles Dickens

It’s time to crack open a new short story collection, and this time I’m going with Stories from the Kitchen edited by Diana Secker Tesdell. Having read Cat Stories and Love Stories before, this will be my third collection put together by Diana and compared to those two, I think, I like the way this book is […]

Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Gravity is the Thing! I don’t think I’ve ever felt this good after reading a novel that deals with grief and loss! Abigail (Abi) Sorensen, the novel’s protagonist, has experienced more than her fair share of tragedy in life. The day before Abi turned sixteen, Robert, her fifteen-year-old brother/ best friend, […]

Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons

I finished reading Kimberly King Parsons’s highly anticipated short story collection, Black Light two nights ago. Had I reviewed and rated this then, it would have probably gotten no more than three stars from me. But now that I’ve had time to reflect on its stories, I’m leaning towards upgrading it to four-stars read. Kimberly’s stories are […]

Maigret’s Anger by Georges Simenon

Finally, the weather is cooling down here in Ann Arbor, and I’m ever so glad to see the back end of the hot summer months! But unfortunately for Maigret, the dog days of summer have just begun in Paris. Anticipating the annual influx of tourists, most Parisians have begun their exodus for more serene getaways […]

The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami

I read Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo many moons ago, and that was quite a curious read. Even though it didn’t contain as many elements of magical realism as Haruki Murakami’s novels (I love Murakami’s works, despite not being the biggest fan of the genre), Strange Weather in Tokyo ventured into the realm of […]