Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Barkskins is a novelized history of the people who’ve worked the forests of North America for the last 400 years. Annie Proulx is best known for her short story Brokeback Mountain, which became a movie by the same name, about gay cowboys in Montana. That credit solidifies her as a talent for depicting the lives […]

Garden of the Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Garden of the Evening Mists is impeccably precise. The story unfolds like a deck of cards, like a magic trick, fully realized and devoid of distractions or mistakes. The language, the structure, the characters: all are premeditated, purposeful and productive. (Photo: Amy Attas) This is a story about trauma, and how trauma manifests in our […]

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

This book made the media rounds in 2015, with the biggest news being the “wood wide web,” the revelation that trees are connected and communicating with each other. It’s perspective-shifting, the first time you hear about it. Through the roots, and through the fungal network attached to the roots, trees can pass information about pests […]

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

I thought I knew what happened during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I thought I knew about racism in America and Muslims after 9/11 and George W. Bush’s obsession with trrrists. Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun states explicitly that it is not meant to be an all-encompassing history of Katrina — there’s no Superdome, no Lower 9th, […]

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

My second reading of “Into Thin Air” was just as immersive and suspenseful as the first. Krakauer’s writing has momentum – even as he pauses for paragraphs or pages to ruminate on climbing tactics or historical precedent, the story falls forward as if it’s been pushed off a cliff. In the case of historical precedent, […]

The Lost City by John Blaine

Like the Hardy Boys or the Boxcar Children, Rick Brant is an adventurous lad who’s managed books and books’ worth of adventures before graduating high school. Unlike the Hardy Boys or the Boxcar Children, Rick Brant is a chemistry nut with a passion for electrical engineering. It’s amazing how often one can get into a […]