Recommended Reading

A Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor

by Christian Kennedy

Flannery O’Connor’s personal prayer journal surprises with her passion and innocence toward faith, reminding the reader of the perspective of a young woman not fully evolved into the Southern Gothic writer that she is known as today. A kind stroke … Continue reading

Southern Sin, Ed. by Gutkind and Fennelly

by R.T. Smith

I began skimming Southern Sin with the suspicion that I wouldn’t enjoy it.  The subtitle, “True Stories of the Sultry South & Women Behaving Badly,” suggested a compendium of wanna-be-naughty memoirs of the predictable and superficial sort.  After all, “south” … Continue reading

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

by Mac McKee

The streets of post-war Barcelona are veiled in The Shadow of the Wind, and something lurks in the darkness. This is the truth that Daniel Sempere learns as he endeavors to uncover the secrets of the eponymously named book he … Continue reading

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Eagen

by Grace Haynes

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Jennifer Eagen’s A Visit from the Good Squad presents a compilation of short stories that vary in time, place, and perspective. Though each story stands independently, most published in newspapers and magazines … Continue reading

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

by Nick Smith

Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a great example of comedic social commentary; it is very easy to read for humor, but it offers deeper social commentary, should the reader desire it. Originally created as a radio story, … Continue reading

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

by Laura Berry

If the colloquial voice in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird still echoes relentlessly in your head, I think I have a book to satisfy your needs. Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina struck me immediately with its strong narrative … Continue reading

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

by Amanda Newton

Are they delusional or just sympathetic? The characters in Sebastian Faulks’ novel A Week in December appear to be both. The narrative encompasses a number of alternative realities, from the online Parallax universe of Jenni Fortuneto the marijuana-fueled haze of Finn Veals’s … Continue reading

Solar Storms by Linda Hogan

by Eleanor Haeg

Linda Hogan’s novel Solar Storms is a beautifully written window into the life of an American Indian teenager and the family that she is inextricably bound to. Drawing on her own experiences from growing up a Chickasaw Indian, Hogan is … Continue reading

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

by Bella Zuroski

“There’s no one thing that’s true.  It’s all true.” – Ernest Hemingway.  So reads the epigraph at the beginning of Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife.  A carefully researched book, The Paris Wife offers readers a new side of Hemingway’s … Continue reading

To See the Queen by Allison Seay

by Ann Persons

Winner of the 2012 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, To See the Queen is Allison Seay’s stunning, haunting debut poetry collection that recollects a woman’s journey through the alternative world of depression. The collection contains four sections, each capturing some … Continue reading

Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson

by Anna Dibenedetto

Gary Jackson’s collection of poetry, Missing You, Metropolis, features unique subject material and authentic language. Just look at the title. Hopefully you recognize Metropolis and connect it to something in your past—think back to red capes and a countless number … Continue reading

When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz

by Elise Petracca

Natalie Diaz opens her debut collection of poetry, When My Brother Was an Aztec, with the Spanish proverb, “No hay mal que dure cien anos, ni cuerpo que lo resista,” to introduce the reader to the Spanish influence on Native … Continue reading