The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

I'm a sucker for any fiction set in the world of college academia, and I don't know why. It's maybe that romantic, old-world sense I get when reading about Ivy League universities or the dreaming spires of Oxford. I suppose it's also because they are so removed from the very modern universities and colleges that … Continue reading The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Journal: The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason by Kristine Atkinson and Joyce Atkinson

So this was an unusual little read for me. I normally don't much care for what you might call "interactive" reading, although I did love the Griffin and Sabine books. If you enjoyed that series of graphic novels, you'll like this book, which is very much in that vein. The story itself is told epistolary … Continue reading Journal: The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason by Kristine Atkinson and Joyce Atkinson

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I have a secret fondness for books set in Ivy League environments, probably because there is something so romantically removed and ivory-tower-academia about them. Two other books that I love and which are set in these same environments are A Discovery of Witches and Ninth House, both of which I've previously blogged. Donna Tartt, whose … Continue reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Final Girl’s Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I first got this book back in late September, intending to blog it for Halloween. Hah! So much for that brilliant idea! I seem to be behind on many things lately.....can't tell if it's due to seasonal depression or just a general sense of blah-ness. Oh well, so I missed the season of ghosts, goblins, … Continue reading The Final Girl’s Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Episode 4, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

The latest episode of my podcast "Cooking The Books" just dropped! We're talking (belatedly!) about Christmas in New Mexico, the importance of traditional holiday food, the author Rudolfo Anaya, and I interview the marvelous food marketer Eric Martinez of Los Foodies, so give it a listen, ya filthy animal! https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/The-Farolitos-of-Christmas-and-the-Seasonal-Happiness-of-Biscochitos-e1adp13 https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/The-Farolitos-of-Christmas-and-the-Seasonal-Happiness-of-Biscochitos-e1adp13

The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga

Un uomo mediterraneo. Doesn't that have the loveliest ring to it? It translates from the Italian to "a Mediterranean man" but it means so much more than that bland phrase. Un uomo mediterraneo is elegant, dapper, romantic, tips his hat to ladies, dresses immaculately, does not rush through life but rather meanders joyfully, enjoys all … Continue reading The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga

Episode 3, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

My latest podcast episode just dropped and it's a hilarious one, filled with lots of laughs, an in-depth discussion of Shakespeare and food, the dubious merits of Mel Gibson's rendition of Hamlet. My guest, the witty, intelligent, extremely handsome and wonderful cook and author Giovanni Franceschini and I swap cooking methods, he creates an impromptu … Continue reading Episode 3, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

A day after Halloween, I am rereading some classics from my childhood and I thought it would be fun to focus on one of my favorite scary books from when I was quite young, and one that still has an effect upon me to this day. Childhood fears are less insidious than those we learn … Continue reading Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

Circe by Madeline Miller

Western culture is by definition patriarchal. You see it in our art, our music, our religion, our family genealogy, our rituals, our language, and of course, in our literature. Much of our culture is predicated on what we learned from ancient cultures such as the Hebrews, the Romans, the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons; and particularly, the … Continue reading Circe by Madeline Miller

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Horror in any form is always subjective because what is horrifying to me may not be frightening to someone else. I think that's why there is such diversity within horror - after all, anything can become scary if given the right context and circumstances. Personally, I love the horror genre because it's an excellent way … Continue reading Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt