Blackbird's Book Blog

I don't write traditional book reviews, especially for classics.  I feel that I cannot make a contribution that others have not already.  I am more interested in how each book adds something to who I am and I how I see the world and my life.  Of course, with my keen interest in literature, I may throw out an observation, insight, or criticism, usually brief, occassionally snarky.


I love classic literature, literary fiction, and poetry.  Well done sci-fi and fantasy will also find it's way into my hands.  When I want the literary equivalent or junk food, I gorge on horror.  My strongest interest is in books written between the world wars.  WWI changed everything - I wish I had been around to take part.


Wallace Stevens changed my life.  That's why I am the Blackbird.

Article from Electric Literature

The Night Circus

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

Some books are a fantastical conjuring of a world. Of course the circus is a metaphor for the book. This book.

Her Body and Other Parties

Her Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado Beautifully written with great imagination, restraint, and originality. Can't wait to read more from this author.

Dark Matter: A Novel

Dark Matter: A Novel - Blake Crouch If you are looking for something that keeps you engaged on long commutes, you really can't do better than Blake Crouch. This one has some holes in the logic. Also, you are figuring out things chapters before the hero, which makes him seem a bit stupid. It's no Wayward Pines, that's for sure. On the other hand, it is exciting and suspenseful and fun.

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel - Stephen King, Owen King It wasn't the very best Stephen King novel, but it was still entertaining and interesting. It made me reflect on the fact that, even if you have the best husband who loves and respects you, who would never think of putting you down or putting his hands on you, who supports you - there is still some seriously sexist crap that goes on in a marriage. Interesting.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline This book is just pure fun.

The Girls: A Novel

The Girls: A Novel - Emma Cline There is no detail too sordid that this writer will not rhapsodize about it, which gives the overall effect of an ugly and repulsive world. I wouldn't have minded this too much if it wasn't ridiculously overwritten and many of the metaphors just didn't work. This book could really have used some restraint and a better editor. It's a shame because there are some very epiphanous observations that Ms. Cline makes about girlhood and the girl we carry into womanhood for the rest of our lives. The story is just a vehicle for these revelations. I haven't decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

The Girl on the Train: A Novel

The Girl on the Train: A Novel - Paula Hawkins I've read reviews in which people say that they hated all the characters and had no sympathy for any of them. I don't get that. Rachael and Meghan are totally sympathetic in my opinion. That Anna though can go kick rocks.

I listened to the audiobook version. The narrator was perfect. I didn't even mind when I was stuck in traffic while I was listening to it - what more can one ask from an audiobook.

Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King, Richard Chizmar Very nicely done.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley  - Patricia Highsmith Damn. Rooting for the sociopath again.

The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy Book 1)

The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy Book 1) - Joe Hart When you are reading (or listening to) this book, you will find yourself asking questions like, "Why don't they just..." or "Why did she..." or "How come they don't..." You may also find your self thinking, "Well that seems unlikely," or "This girl is crazy lucky" or even, "Man, she's stupid." Don't let this negativity bother you. Picture it floating away like a helium balloon. If I had let it bother me, I would have missed out on hours of solid entertainment.

The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story

The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story - Megan Chance This reminded me of the Victoria Holt novels I devoured when I was 12 or so. But with a dose of smut. Although it was predictable, and the heroine's behavior seemed unlikely, the book was like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with Campbell's tomato soup - not gormet, but comforting.


Splinterlands - John Feffer It's a this-could-happen tale that isn't terribly concerned about being an actual novel.


Railsea - China MiƩville

It's Ridley Walker in a steampunk Jaberwocky adventure splashing through Moby Dick.

Just read it.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek - Jack Ketchum One of my hard and fast rules in life is never play hide and seek in a haunted house. The characters in this book didn't have this rule and they got a nasty surprise.

This was fun, but it was like the first 3/4 of the book was a separate thing from the climax and the end.

The Daughters of Palatine Hill: A Novel

The Daughters of Palatine Hill: A Novel - Phyllis T. Smith A bit on the fluffy side for me. However, it was enjoyable and written well. I ended up disliking Julia. Are we supposed to sympathize with that foolish girl?

Currently reading

The Confessions of Young Nero
Margaret George
The Japanese Lover: A Novel
Isabel Allende