Skip to main content

Spook: Scare Yourself Silly this Halloween

Although ghoulishly entertaining, Spook is ironically not about the supernatural happenings of the spirit world as its title eerily suggests. Instead, famed science writer Mary Roach takes a fresh approach in her investigation of the afterlife, delving into scientific explanations of “life after death.” As with Roach’s other books, it is a fun, fact-filled romp … Read More

Unlikable Characters

Does a book’s main character always have to be likable? If you think back on your favorite main characters, many were almost surely ones you liked, or at least admired or related to on some level. Even villains are sometimes not totally unlikable, especially when they have a powerful quality or a character flaw that … Read More

Finding Humor for Emotional Strength

In Diem Perdidi by Julie Otsuka, the narrator recounts her experiences dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s progression. Alzheimer’s is an unforgiving, unpredictable disease. Periods of lucidity are contrasted with periods of confusion. Memories are conflated in a cruel time-traveling continuum, as short-term memory is often erased, but long-term memories remain. As with all terminal illnesses, … Read More

Poetry and Recipes

In addition to my position at Rutgers as a part-time business librarian, I am also a food writer and historian. While the vocations might not seem connected, they really do work well in tandem. The database-searching proficiency I gleaned through my M.L.S. (Rutgers, 1997) combined with many years working in corporate libraries allows me to … Read More

Staff Picks: Severance

Although published pre-COVID, Ling Ma’s brilliant debut novel Severance eerily mirrors the pandemic that has upended our world for the past year and a half. In Severance, Shen Fever is the devastating disease, a bizarre syndrome that induces a zombie-like feverish condition, which proves fatal for anyone infected. Main character Candace Chen, a twentysomething first-generation … Read More

The Man Who Ate Too Much

“Not all our food history is set down in cookbooks” (James Beard, American Cookery) The backbone of American cookery rests squarely on the shoulders of the late, great James Beard. A culinary arts foundation that recognizes chefs, restaurateurs, authors and journalists with prestigious awards is named in his honor. His life and experiences are extremely … Read More