The following is an excerpt from the novel Blood & Silver by Vali Benson (copyright 2020), used with her permission. The girls enjoyed exploring the hotel when they could. The only place they didn’t like was the damp, dark basement, but occasionally they were asked to go down there to fetch something from the supply […]

I had a really hard time getting into this book, and I’m not sure if it had more to do with my current state of mind (extreme stress and borderline depression #2020sucks) or with the long, rambling sentences which alternate between extreme highbrow and earthy lowbrow (perhaps in imitation of the young adults who are […]

Well, this one certainly won’t qualify for Book Riot’s Read Harder 2020 task about a murder mystery with no women victims! And it was a bit of a difficult read because of that–there are a number of reviews on Goodreads complaining about the level of violence in the book. For a reading challenge about setting, […]

I read this in March 2020, just as everything was shutting down. Due to my stress level (#2020sucks), I did not write a post or make any notes. I did, however, highlight passages in my Kindle copy. I remember not really liking this book. But, in looking at the passages I marked, I felt like […]

Many of the books I read for Reading My Way are historical fiction. Oftentimes the authors of these books spend an enormous amount of time researching their setting–both the physical and the time period. (Stephen Markley mentions in the backmatter for Ohio that he practically wrote his character Stacey’s dissertation.) I always enjoy reading an […]

This was a very nice addition to our reading list for Arizona, particularly for a Young Adult audience – the reading level is on the younger end of this group, but the main character is raised in a brothel (though not as a sex worker herself). It’s a historical fiction novel set in Tombstone in […]

When I saw Task 22 for Book Riot’s Read Harder 2020, I wasn’t thrilled–but that’s kind of the point, right? To challenge yourself to read outside your comfort zone? But… “Read a horror book published by an indie press”? Horror? Really? I dutifully checked out the list of suggestions, and found a couple that sounded […]

Ok, I admit I was wrong to wait so long to read this! It’s beautiful and savage, and the characters are so wonderfully drawn. On the one hand, I totally agree with McMurtry himself, who said it was overly-romanticized: “Would you want your menfolk to act like that?” And on the other hand, I feel […]

Harrigan’s inclusion of a botanist as one of the fictional characters we follow across Texas, makes this book a great one for this challenge, but the pervasive mythology of the Alamo makes it an essential one. I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on those […]

This was a good book, and a good fit for our challenge, but not–for me anyway–a great book. It was a great look at an interesting period of time–Texas during Reconstruction–with lots of details about the timeframe. The profession of the main character as an itinerant newsreader means he’s an educated man and an outsider […]