Category Archives: Nonfiction

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

Here’s how Robert Kolker describes the five woman at the center of this book: They weren’t angels. They weren’t devils. One was the aimless dreamer of her family until the pressures of adult responsibility became impossible to ignore. Another was … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Between the World and Me

I’ll preface this post by saying that it’s hard for me to know how to write about this book. I read it back in October, but didn’t know how to start writing a review. Between the World and Me was … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Nonfiction | 22 Comments

The Silent Woman

I started Janet Malcolm’s book The Silent Woman in the belief that it was a biography of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. I’ve never read much Plath — just the most-anthologized poems — and even less Hughes, and I only … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

That’s a lot of subtitle, no? And all those subtitles don’t even get into the circus sideshows. This book first captured my interest because I grew up just a few miles from Truevine, the Franklin County, Virginia, community where the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 10 Comments

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

When it comes to essays, Joan Didion is among the greats, at least she is by reputation. Before reading this collection, I’d not read many of her essays, “Goodbye to All That” and maybe a few others. I’d also read The Year … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 8 Comments

Blood Done Sign My Name

In the United States, when we are first taught about the Civil Rights movement, in our high schools and sometimes into college, it goes something like this: There was segregation and injustice, and it was bad. And then Martin Luther … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 12 Comments

The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature

I am not, in general, a big fan of nature writing. It’s not that I haven’t read and enjoyed any nature writing. I loved, for example, David Quammen’s Song of the Dodo and Monster of God. It’s just that nature writing doesn’t always … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 9 Comments

Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith

Monica A. Coleman’s memoir touches on a lot of significant themes: faith, grief, trauma, rape, depression, prayer, race, family, friendship, and history among them. She begins with the story of her great-grandfather who died, it was said, “of grief,” hanging … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion | 8 Comments

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

In July 1865, a 13-year-old London boy named Robert Coombs murdered his mother Emily. After the murder, he and his 12-year-old brother Nattie attended cricket matches, played games, and went fishing, all the while claiming their mother was away visiting family. When … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 18 Comments

The Givenness of Things

If you’re a regular or long-time reader of this blog, you’re probably aware that I’m a tremendous fan of the work of Marilynne Robinson. I’ve read and loved all her novels, and I marveled at her 2012 essay collection, When I Was … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments