Reading Iceland

My husband and I will be in Iceland in five short weeks. While I’m excited to (I hope) see the Northern Lights and go on a glacier hike, there’s something really fascinating about Iceland’s literary scene that I’m looking forward to seeing first-hand. Apparently, one in ten Icelanders will publish a book during their lifetime […]

That white male writers are most often reviewed and wind up winning awards and find themselves on “best of” and “summer reading” lists at places like the New York Times (NYT) is no surprise. It is and has been a white man’s world in many respects for a very long time, primarily because white guys […]

How Many Books Does it Take to Get to Toronto?

I equate travel with reading time. You’re stuck in an airport or an airplane for hours on end, so what else are you going to do? For me, I either knit or read or catch up on Welcome to Night Vale. Sometimes all three. So last Friday I decided to head to Toronto for a […]

I Am Not Embarrassed.

Let us discuss literary fiction and sales. It’s no secret that it’s incredibly difficult to sell a novel that is considered literary fiction, and that sales of literary fiction have been decreasing to the point where writers have been bemoaning the death of that particular category of books for years. Most recently, Will Self, in […]

Snow Day Books

Growing up in the Pocono area of Pennsylvania meant that we always had a lot of snow. Winter meant bundling up like the Michelin man and shivering at the bus stop in front of my house. My mom still lives in my childhood home, a little one-story house on top of a very big hill […]

Happy Women in Horror Month!

Horror generally tends to be thought of as a genre dominated by men–Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Peter Straub. This list of the top 20 horror writers is full of testosterone (and awfully white). There’s not a female among them. Writer Joanna Russ may have lamented the character roles available to the heroine in general and […]

The Tattooed Page

After something like eight hours in the tattoo chair, three different sessions, my tattoo is finally finished! This last time around, I read the first ninety pages or so of The Golden Compass. It seems like the kind of thing I should have read long ago–the last of the books was published in 2000. But […]

Tattoo Distractions

A few Saturdays ago, I spent two or three hours in a chair while a very nice woman scratched a tattoo into my back. Lots of people just hang out while getting new ink. I like to read. It’s a distraction from the needles, plus that’s a long time to just sit there, you know? […]

All About the Scary

One of the very awesome things about going to BEA is the advanced copies of books. I picked up Alan Weisman’s newest, Countdown, there. Countdown won’t be out until next month, so I scrambled to finish it this month. Let me just say: wow. I have all sorts of feelings about this book, some of […]

Scared to Death

There’s psychology and physiology behind the love of horror movies and novels, a lot of it having to do with adrenaline rush. Chances are that if you dig roller coasters or sky diving (guilty!), you’re really going to like the feeling you get when you’re scared. Or maybe you just like experiencing the scare within […]