The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer

Out of ten members two loved it, three hated it and five liked it in an ambivalent sort of way. Most people had serious trouble with at least one of the characters and a few plot elements. I always say that if the group is arguing over something like the finer points of California’s community property laws, then there’s a bigger problem with the book. … Continue reading The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer

My New Favorite Book: Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi

This book is perfect for your reading challenge.  Back in the day, when book blogs were still young, there were all sorts of reading challenges going around that this book would have been perfect for. Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman, Eve Out of Her Ruins is set in the author’s home of Mauritius, an island nation east of Madagascar. Perfect for your Read Around the … Continue reading My New Favorite Book: Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

I really liked this book. Nnedi Okorafor’s fantasy epic Who Fears Death is something of a cross between Ursula K. LeGuin and Octavia Butler if both had grown up in Africa. The story follows Onyesonwu, a young woman living in what must be a post-civilization North Africa.  Her culture is clearly based on Africa and the setting is a vast desert like the Sahara, but there … Continue reading Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This review may have spoilers. Three lovable misfits spend their senior year together, trying to survive life in small town Tennessee where misfits are not exactly welcome, no matter how lovable they are. The Serpent King is actually a very dark story.  The lead character, though the narrator’s focus will shift between all three, is Dillard Wayne Early, Jr., the son of a snake-handling Pentecostal preacher … Continue reading The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

“Jack” and “Ursula” by Francis Wyndham

How someone who is not really part of your life can be such a large part of your life. Francis Wyndham won the latest round in my little tournament of short stories, defeating two stories from African Writing Today.  It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get around to writing this post–I’ve forgotten the African stories completely.  I do remember that I liked them, … Continue reading “Jack” and “Ursula” by Francis Wyndham