When In Florence by Richard Cortez Day

This is one of those books that I just love, in which several stories tie together a myriad of characters who interweave throughout each other's tales, with one minor character in one story becoming the major player in another...and the best part? It's set in another one of my favorite cities in the world - … Continue reading When In Florence by Richard Cortez Day

Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Having read pretty much everything that Silva Moreno-Garcia has written, including a few of her most excellent short stories, I was prepared to love Velvet was the Night, if only for the noir-ish title and the gorgeous cover. I love noir in both literature and film, and of course I fell madly in love with … Continue reading Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Burning Última:  Rudolfo Anaya and the Impact of Book Bans on Democracy Article for the NM Humanities Council

I'm pleased to share my latest article for the NM Humanities Council on the subject of book banning and its effect on democracy and my dear friend and mentor, Rudolfo Anaya whose novel Bless Me, Última, was banned many times. Check it out at: https://nmhumanities.org/?blogId=1926

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 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 2, Season 2 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Season 2 of the Cooking the Books podcast continues with Episode 2, and a lively and funny discussion of one of the ultimate Gothic novels and an in-depth interview with food writer and cookbook author Allie Pino, whose latest publication A Gothic Cookbook is being crowdfunded at: https://unbound.com/books/a-gothic-cookbook/. You can support this wonderful book by … Continue reading Episode 2, Season 2 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

Being the horror aficionado that I am, and having read so much horror literature in my life (good and bad), I feel pretty comfortable in my own literary criticism and analysis of the horror genre. Any horror writer worth his or her salt is going to prove their worth when they take on the typical … Continue reading The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

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