Micro-Reviews Archive

Micro-Review: The Good Lord Bird

“I was born a colored man and don’t you forget it. But I lived as a colored woman for seventeen years.” Thus begins the oral history of Henry Shackleford, aka “the Onion,” who was mistaken for a girl when he was kidnapped by white abolitionist John Brown in the wake of Brown accidentally causing

Micro-Review: Lost at Sea

I first heard of Jon Ronson in 2011 when he read an excerpt of his book The Psychopath Test on This American Life. A British journalist, he’s known for his investigative reports for the Guardian and has a popular BBC Radio show. Lost at Sea is a collection of essays that originally appeared in

Micro-Review: Aimless Love

Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States, is a favorite of many for his far-from-stuffy approach. His latest book, Aimless Love, which contains selected poems from four previous collections plus more than fifty new poems, continues his playful observations on the scholarly and the serendipitous.

Micro-Review: Bootstrapper

Mardi Jo Link is more comfortable with an ax in her hand than a briefcase. So when she and her husband divorce after almost twenty years, she vows to do whatever it takes to keep her three sons and their hundred-year-old farmhouse on a small farm in Northern Michigan.

Micro-Review: The Lowland

Lahiri’s latest novel explores the limits of familial love and obligation. Brothers Subhash and Udayan are inseparable growing up in Calcutta in the 1960s; sneaking into the golf club, building a radio, and studying, always together. But as they enter separate colleges and political unrest flares in the countryside, the boys begin to drift

Micro-Review: Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish

If first novels carry the promise of characters and themes to come, last novels have a maturity of spirit and talent. David Rakoff’s final novel, completed just before his death in 2012, spans a century on the American continent, from the Chicago stockyards to sunny California to midtown Manhattan.

Micro-Review: A Little History of Literature

“If we read well,” writes John Sutherland, “we find ourselves in a conversational relationship with the most creative minds of our own time and of the past. Time spent reading literature is always time well spent. Let no one tell you otherwise.

Micro-Review: Amy Falls Down

Amy Gallup is such a perfectionist, she once almost drowned because she couldn’t think of a less-cliched phrase to shout than “Help!” Grief and regret have kept her from fully embracing life, and she’s settled for being an unambitious writer teaching an online writing class – until the day she falls in her garden
In search of belief changing ideas