the-ice-queenAlice Hoffman

Hoffman is herself a queen – of magical realism. While spinning her story, she dabbles a toe her in there in pools of the fantastic. You barely notice the ripples here and there, until suddenly the most fantastic things seem totally believable. Sure, I can believe the woodman …

the-blackbird-papers Ian Smith

When the going gets tough, some of the tough read cheesy murder mysteries. I grabbed this one at random (ok, the cover was red and shiny).  Blackbird turned out to be one of the best and most imaginative mysteries I have read in ages. While most mysteries fit …

Loretta Lux

Whoooo, creepy! Remember that little kid that was supposed to be Scully’s daughter in X-Files but everyone hated her because she was so creepy? Well, that little weirdo has nothing on Lux’s models. Lux’s children are how I imagine seraphim would appear – beautiful forms, but also terrible, …

boring-postcards-usa2Martin Parr

Time and time again, I check this book out of the library. There is something incomprehensibly mind-boggling about this book. Perhaps it’s the graphic designer in me, but the scope of work involved in this book just makes me marvel at the stupid things humanity will do. The …

Asleeping-by-the-mississippilec Soth

I had seen the cover of this book in a photography magazine and was intrigued by the cover image – a man in a baggy jumper, balaclava and walrus mustache holding two toy airplanes on a junk and snow covered deck. And you know what? I still …

good-poemsEdited by Garrison Keiller

For regular NPR listeners, Keiller’s poem selections may be familiar. These are not hard poems. They don’t require you to have read English lit at Oxford or to be able to speak olde Englishe. Nor do they span hundreds of pages, warbling on about woe, despair, …

good-poemsGood Poems & Good Poems for Hard Times – Edited by Garrison Keiller

For regular NPR listeners, Keiller’s poem selections will be familiar. If not, perhaps you will remember the (minor) flap in the news earlier this year when Kansas radio station wanted to pull Keiller’s 5 minute poetry spot …

anansi-boysNeil Gaiman

I am shocked and apologetic that I forgot to review this last month. Perhaps I forgot because I read it at the very beginning of the month – or perhaps my mind was going “wub wub wub” from having seen Gaiman/McKeen’s movie MirrorMask. SEE IT IF YOU …

Archeology Magazine

A truly fantastic magazine. Articles range from current digs in Iran recently opened for the first time in 30 years, to an urban archeological dig being done through the floor of a room in a fully functioning motel. No one country or time period receives any special emphasis. …

Under the Banner of HeavenJon Krakauer

Krakauer has fast become one of my favorite non-fiction/journalistic writers. A writer for various travel magazines, Krakauer has turned a number of his articles into full size books. Under the Banner of Heaven follows the trial of Ron and Don Lafferty, two Mormon brothers who believed God had …