Books + Reads
The Best of First Sentences: A Prayer for Owen Meany Book Review

The Best of First Sentences: A Prayer for Owen Meany Book Review

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew….
Angela's May Reads

Angela’s May Reads

  A list of things I read and loved in May:     This has both Marvel and Hamilton, so it’s like Linda Holmes decided to make all my dreams come true. But aside from that, it’s a brilliant look on how fictional stories can reflect our own political disagreements, and the personal weight many...
Vivian Apple at the End of the World

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

  Katie Coyle’s Vivian Apple at the End of the World is a brazen jolt of maturity that still manages to hold all the soul and sweetness of great young adult fiction.
Barely Visible

Barely Visible

Illustration by Victoria Silveyra. When I was young I wanted to be everything at once. A knight, an astronaut, a writer. I realized I could use the stories I loved to become all these things and more. I soaked up stories in all their forms-in music, movies, TV shows, books-and let them become part of me....
Where Hope Begins

Where Hope Begins

The beginning of hope is an ending. Maybe it’s the ending of accepting the world as it is. Maybe it’s the ending of a bad habit.  Whatever ends when hope begins, it’s a shift that isn’t always conscious. Sometimes it takes time and effort to sort through the feelings that come with change. For some...
Hitting all the Tender Points: An interview with Amy Berkowitz

Hitting all the Tender Points: An interview with Amy Berkowitz

Amy Berkowitz is a Bay Area writer living in San Francisco. She lives in a rent-controlled apartment, which serves as the headquarters for her chapbook press, Mondo Bummer Books, as well as the venue for her reading series, Amy’s Kitchen Organics.
Don't Paint Yourself Yellow for a Little Bit of Gold

Don’t Paint Yourself Yellow for a Little Bit of Gold

  Illustration by Gita Labrador.  “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character,” said Horace Greeley, co-founder of the New Yorker and founder of the New York Tribune.
How it Feels to be a Monster

How it Feels to be a Monster

Illustration by Gita Labrador. Everyone is afraid of something.  In One by Sarah Crossan, Grace lists her family’s fears.  Most of them are typical fears: clowns, bugs, mice.  Grace’s fear is a bit different:
The Stories Behind the Headlines

The Stories Behind the Headlines

Illustration by Regine De Mesa. Go Set a Watchman is not To Kill a Mockingbird.  While Mockingbird pulled at the heart, Watchman reaches for our brains as it looks at the nature of prejudice, the Southern identity, and the push-pull of generational differences.  Not every reader will find Watchman’s themes compelling, but those who are...
Recreating a Classic

Recreating a Classic

Illustration by Regine De Mesa.  Look at the shelf of beloved books that mothers and daughters read together.  Anne of Green Gables. Betsy-Tacy. Ballet Shoes. The Secret Garden. Matilda. Harriet the Spy. Surely you notice what’s missing. What would you change, if you could, about one of these books to make it more representative of...