Category Archives: Culture

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Hardcover, 364 pages, 2008 Rating: 10/10 Reason for Reading: I love reading books set in India and Africa and this met the latter requirement. Synopsis: In this collection of five short stories (though I’d make the argument that two of them approach novella length), each story focuses on children in a different […]

Passin’ by Karen E. Quinones Miller

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Trade, 295 pages, 2008 Rating: 9/10 Reason for Reading: The plot sounded intriguing. Synopsis: Shanika Ann Jenkins is proudly African-American – and born fair, blonde and blue-eyed, thanks to what her grandmother calls ‘marrying well.’ When she’s turned down for a dream job in New York City because she’s not black enough, […]

1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Trade, 441 pages, 2004 Rating: 9/10 Reason for Reading: I picked this up at the used bookstore because I figured anything about the 1960s tends to be interesting, and if a man could write entire (and popular) books on things like salt and cod fish, it was a good bet. Synopsis: In […]

Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women edited by Paula Goldman

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Trade, 239 pages, 2006 Rating: 9/10 Reason for Reading: From first-flip I could tell this book had a huge ‘wow’ factor. Synopsis: What do women in their 20s and 30s think about themselves? How do they view the world? How is life different for them than it was for their mothers and […]

A Virgin’s Guide to Everything by Lauren McCutcheon

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Trade, 376 pages, 2005 Rating: 8/10 Reason for Reading: Like most people, there are always things I’m putting off doing ‘until I know enough to do it right.’ Synopsis: Has there ever been something you wanted to do – eating sushi, getting a massage, going to a foreign country – but you […]

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Hardcover (available in trade), 364 pages, 2005 Rating: 9/10 Reason for Reading: I had no idea until I saw this book that Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym, so curiosity made me pick up Girl Sleuth to see who was behind a series I often read when I was younger. Synopsis: While the […]

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Hardcover (available in trade), 296 pages, 2004 Rating: 8/10 Reason for Reading: It caught my eye on’s best of 2004 list. Synopsis: Experts are experts because they’re smarter than the average random crowd walking down the street, right? Maybe not. Surowiecki sets out to prove that as long as certain conditions […]

Acquainted with the Night by Christopher Dewdney

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Hardcover, 314 pages, 2004 Rating: 9/10 Reason for Reading: I noticed this one while browsing Amazon’s best-of lists for 2004. I am far too acquainted with the night myself, so of course I had to hear from a fellow night owl. Synopsis: Dewdney serves as the tour guide through a typical 12-hour […]

Planet Simpson by Chris Turner

Reviewed by L.D.Y. Trade, 466 pages, 2004 Rating: 9/10 Reason for Reading: The Simpsons? Best. Show. Ever. Synopsis: Simpson addicts unite: Turner looks at how a seemingly simple cartoon has impacted so much on our society – how it stays relevent by reflecting our flaws and triumphs back at us to mock us, make us […]