Jan Stafford Kellis

UP Reader, Vol. II

It’s here!   The second volume of UP Reader has hit the stands. If you live here, wish you lived here, dream of living here, love to visit or wish you could visit, grab your copy now! The UP Reader features essays, poems, and short stories from UP writers. We…

A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

We broke the streak! It’s been eleven months since we awarded the Stamp of Approval to a book (it was Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, which I wouldn’t mind reading again). At long last, we have broken this long, barren streak of nothingness and chosen A Gentleman In Moscow,…

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Wow. What a ride. This is the story of Ruth Jefferson, a black nurse in the Labor & Delivery department of a hospital, who is unlucky enough to be assigned to a newborn with white supremacists for parents. They declare that no African-American staff shall touch their child, and when…

Paper Towns by John Green

I’ve been out of high school for, shall we say, a couple of decades, maybe a little more. At least two fat decades. High school was fun while I was there, but I’ve been thankful every day since graduation that I don’t have to return to the daily humiliation, embarrassment,…

Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer

Julie Lawson Timmer’s writing grabbed me from the first page and pulled me right in. I’m sorry I already finished the book–I wish it was another 500 pages long. The story takes place in Michigan, where Bradley Hawthorn dies in a car accident. He leaves behind his wife, Char, and…

The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins

Our latest Stamp of Approval winner:   Jeanine Cummins spoke at Lake Superior State University last winter, and I was lucky enough to attend her presentation. I brought Anonymous Bookworm Angie with me, and Angie purchased this book that night. Cummins plops you down in 1950’s Ireland, where Christy tells…

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Salutations, Bookworms! Winter and I have a love-hate relationship. I hate wearing three layers and fingerless mittens just to sit around the house; I hate maintaining an organized inventory of scarves, gloves, boots, coats, hats, head bands, and ear muffs; and I hate, hate, hate slippery roads, sidewalks, porches and stairs. But when I…

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This is another book I allowed to gather dust on my shelf, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down! This is the true story of Cheryl Strayed’s 1100+ mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m so glad Cheryl hiked this trail, because now I don’t…

Broken For You

Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos, (Grove Press, 2004, 400 pages). Septuagenarian Margaret Hughes has a brain tumor. Instead of pursuing traditional, radical life-saving treatment, she decides to change her life, starting with advertising for a boarder to share her Seattle mansion. Margaret’s mansion houses thousands of precious porcelain dishes…

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Kate is a single mom and a successful litigation attorney; Amelia is her fifteen-year-old daughter. Their relationship is closer than most mother-daughter connections, but not as close as either of them believe. Amelia is a star student at the private school she attends—she plays field hockey, earns high marks, and…