September Read of the Month: “The Committee,” by Sterling Watson

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro With eight books to his credit, Sterling Watson has long been a powerful author, but he raises the bar considerably in The Committee (Akashic Books 2020), a compelling historical novel about the havoc the so-called Johns Committee wreaked on the University of Florida in the late 1950s. With impeccable accuracy […]

August Read of the Month: “Wayward Girls,” by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel

Reviewed by Donna Meredith What dark secrets lurk behind the walls of Talbot Hall for Girls? Which adults might prove allies of the teens—and which ones can’t be trusted? Can the girls even trust each other? Sizzling with tension and intriguing characters, Wayward Girls, by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel, is set in a creepy […]

July Read of the Month: “Breath Like the Wind at Dawn,” by Devin Jacobsen

Reviewed by Charley Hively Devin Jacobsen’s debut novel, Breath Like the Wind at Dawn (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2020), opens with a garbled mixture of jarring Western lingo and syntax, graphic violence, and sexual innuendo, but one important detail slowly emerges: gold. Quinn and Irv, a pair of outlaw twin brothers, ambush and slaughter a group […]

June Read of the Month: “Coyote Loop,” by L. C. Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you like larger-than-life, irascible, narcissistic, rich, foul-mouthed muckspouts—think Tony Soprano—you will like the narrator of L. C. Fiore’s Coyote Loop. Granted, the setting is totally different. The trading floor of a Chicago Board Options Exchange. The beginning of the 2008 recession. But John Andrew Ganzi, also known as JAG, rules […]

May Read of the Month: “The Tender Grave,” by Sheri Reynolds

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Tender Grave, by Sheri Reynolds, not only offers interesting characters and strong imagery, but it also builds an unusual level of tension and suspense for a literary novel. Witness this early passage: She hadn’t been to bed, not all night, and though she’d brushed her teeth before she left, her […]

April Read of the Month: “The Memory House,” by Rachel Hauck

Reviewed by Honey Rand Three years ago, while training for a half-marathon, I listened to zombie books. I know, blasphemy, right? Audio and zombies, how low could I go? Then there is the success of Fifty Shades of Gray and its sequels in print and the movies. I can’t tell you the times I’ve heard […]

March Read of the Month: “Call It Horses,” by Jessie Van Eerden

Reviewed by Becca Spence Dobias Call it Horses is a difficult text in multiple ways, and as is often the case, its difficulty makes it an incredibly rewarding read. Perhaps most challenging is its subject matter, which includes domestic violence, pregnancy loss, cancer, death, and suicide, but its prose, too, is thick and intentional, each […]

February Read of the Month: “Goshen Road,” by Bonnie Proudfoot

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Bonnie Proudfoot’s Goshen Road dives deep into West Virginia rural life with a tale that sweeps across multiple generations. The novel has been selected for the Women’s National Book Association’s Great Group Reads program and is longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best Debut Novel. The novel provides multiple viewpoints, […]