essays

Book cover

The Faraway Nearby

Rebecca Solnit
4
Rated by
Chris K.
Friday, Dec 1, 2017

This evocative collection of meditations emerged from a time of crisis in Solnit's life, and centers on her mother's descent into Alzheimer's and her own diagnosis of and treatment for potential cancer. Solnit's writing is fluid and meandering, flowing lyrically from thought to thought, topic to topic.

Friday, May 12, 2017

How do you raise a feminist? This little book offers 15 suggestions for taking on the task and offers insight into how we can tackle living as feminists in our everyday lives. Dear Ijeawele is powerfully short and gets to the point, as a manifesto should. Her recommendations include; “ 'Because you are a girl' is never a reason for anything”; “teach her to love books”; and “teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary.”

Bad Feminist in pink letters on a white background

Bad Feminist

Roxane Gay
5
Rated by
Amy F.
Saturday, Mar 12, 2016

Immediately after finishing the downloadable audiobook of Bad Feminist, crisply narrated by the inestimable Bahni Turpin, I placed the print book on hold. There are just too many interesting, important and often hilarious moments to absorb in one go.

Friday, Feb 6, 2015

What began as an exercise to work through daunting experiences would eventually become this powerful collection of essays about understanding Asperger Syndrome. Finding Kansas captures Aaron Likens' introspective journey from awkward early teens to roller-coaster 20s and onward to an empowering future.

The title in dark gold on a white quilted background

Stitches

Anne Lamott
5
Rated by
Bethany T.
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

"It can be too sad here. We often lose our way." Anne Lamott's latest musing on faith focuses on the thorny parts of life and love—grief, anger, pain—and how to keep living throughout it all. Stitching together the ripped shreds of ourselves, she says, is the answer. Community, faith, music, even something as mundane as replacing smelly, stained floorboards—all of these help us sew our lives together and move on, stronger for the scar tissue that has knitted us whole again.

Wild Comfort

Kathleen Dean Moore
5
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Monday, Dec 23, 2013

Perhaps the best essay in Wild Comfort is the piece that launches the collection, The Solace of Snakes. It’s possible that it’s my favorite essay because of her cunning implementation of snake tins (sheets of metal) to give snakes a proper home in a cleared field. Kathleen Dean Moore further explains her recordings each day as she carefully lifts the snake tins and examines the life beneath: “A large vole. . .

Cover showing brown owl against cream background

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris
4
Rated by
Hope H.
Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013

Don’t be fooled, you’ll learn nothing about diabetes or owls here, but the random suggestion makes it all the more entertaining. Shortly before this book was released, I had the privilege of attending “An Evening with David Sedaris” in Kansas City, where I got a preview of some of the hilarious treasures to come in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Sedaris likes to test his pieces with various live audiences, tweaking them along the way until they are primed for publishing, and

Sunday, Jan 20, 2013

Don’t mind the title, this book is much better than leftover cake. Editors Kim Perel and Wendy Sherman have stitched together a collection of personal essays from women who reveal the joys, dramas, peculiarities, and even tragedies faced during the first months and years of marriage. Each offers a unique perspe

Monday, Nov 19, 2012

Editors Anderson & Forman, both writers and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have compiled an anthology of essays and verse detailing experiences with ASD either as parents, teachers, advocates and therapists. All of the contributors are experienced writers and parents of children with ASD who candidly share their journeys and life changing experiences as they navigate the world of ASD. John Elder Robison (

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011

I usually like funny, fast-paced reads only if they’re poking fun at our society or have some deeper cultural undertones. But occasionally even I get sick of dwelling in life’s neurotic muck and want something to read that’s light-hearted and escapist, but still realistic enough that my eyeballs don’t get strained from rolling too far back into my head.

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