Book review: The Obelisk Gate

If you’re a fan of speculative fiction, you must read N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. After devouring the first book, I finished the second and third books and am still catching my breath. These Hugo-winning novels are a feat of wonder, sorrow, and delight, from the elegant, powerful language to the awe-inspiring craft. And […]

Book review: The Fifth Season

Mind. Blown. I finished the first book in N.K. Jemison’s Hugo-award-winning The Broken Earth trilogy, The Fifth Season, and I’m reeling from its sheer awesomeness. This speculative fiction novel for adults encompasses a vast, immersive, world that resonates with our own culture, particularly the way we treat anyone we deem “other.” The plot is continually […]

Anthology ahoy!

It’s here!! Of Burgers & Barrooms, an anthology of poetry and prose about fast food joints and bars, arrived on my porch this morning! It’s a gorgeous collection, featuring one of my poems, “Valencia Street, Sunday Morning,” about Clooney’s, a dive bar on the corner near my apartment in San Francisco years ago. I was […]

Book review: Saints and Misfits

There are three kinds of people in 15-year-old Janna Yusuf’s life: saints, misfits, and monsters. Saints make the world a better place, like Janna’s elder-care charge, Mr. Ram, and her too-good-to-be-true prospective sister-in-law Sarah Mahmoud. They can be a little intimidating. Misfits are people like Janna. Whether she wears her burkini at the beach with […]

Book review: YA fantasy books with strong girls

Welcome to Part 3 of my book review series featuring speculative literature books with strong girl protagonists. In previous installments, I listed books for younger middle grade readers (ages 8-10) and middle grade readers (10-12). This post emphasizes readers 12-16, moving into the young adult category. (By the way, my age recommendations are based on […]