More than twenty of my reviews have appeared in academic journals such as The New England Quarterly, Early American Literature, Utopian Studies, Communal Societies, and The American Historical Review.   

Recently, I reviewed Timothy Miller’s Communes in America, 1975-2000 (Syracuse UP 2019) for Religion, State and Society. (You can access it here).

Before that,  Utopian Studies published  my review of Adrienne Rose Bitar’s Diet and the Disease of Civilization — a fantastic study of American obsessions with diet, reaching back to the later-19th century.

My review of Mark Sundeen’s The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America, appeared in Communal Societies (2017). I shared a few of those ideas in a blog here. And a few years ago, “Savory Bites: Books on Eating in Early America,” appeared in Early American Literature 50.2 (2015).

Also attesting to my belief in the importance of reviews, I served for five years as Book Review Editor for Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers.

For some time now, I have been posting shorter book reviews on Goodreads. These reviews appear on my Facebook page and below as well.  I would like to know what you think of these books, if you read them. Your comments motivate me to rethink and to learn more about others’ perspectives.

A Sicilian Memoir: Simeti's On Persephone’s Island

Mandarins and pears at an open market in Sicily. Photo: Andrew Malone , Wikimedia Commons via Flickr

Mary Taylor Simeti’s memoir of Sicily as an American expat will not be for everyone. But if you like poetic prose,... More >

A Privileged Perspective: On Escaping A Stricken Field

Cover of 1940 edition of Martha Gellhorn’s A Stricken Field

In January, reading Anne Boyd Rioux’s review essay of Martha Gellhorn’s A Stricken Field,  I was intrigued enough to order a copy. Rioux had written for LitHub that Gellhorn’s 1940 novel delivers... More >

A Valentine's and Presidents' Day Book: Precious and Adored

Cover of book Precious and Adored

Cover of Laskey and Ehrenhalt’s book, Precious and Adored

Here’s a book suited for both Valentine’s and Presidents’ Day. No, it’s not about Abigail and John Adams. Nor is it yet another account of Honest Abe and Mary Todd. But it is about... More >

Timothy Miller on Communes in America, 1975-2000

For anyone interested in alternative communities in the US, Tim Miller’s book on the last quarter of the 20th century is a thorough and accessible read. Miller started studying and writing about communal life as a young scholar of American religious history. No one... More >

Mark Sundeen, The Unsettlers & The Good Life

Mark Sundeen’s book, The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America

Mark Sundeen’s The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America ranks among the most interesting new books I read in 2017.  Here are some highlights from my  review... More >

An American Woman in 19th-Century Palestine

Occasionally I read a not-recently-published book that moves me so that I wonder how I missed it when it first appeared.

Book cover of Barbara Kreiger’s Divine Expectations: An American Woman in 19th-Century Palestine.

 Divine Expectations is one such book. Since... More >

Transitions in Gender and Spirituality: Michael Dillon/Lobzang Jivaka

In the spring of 1962, within a month of my birth and just before his death, Lobzang Jivaka finished composing his spiritual autobiography in India. Almost fifty years before and half-way round the world, he had been named at birth Maude Laura Dillon in the Ladbroke Grove neighborhood of Kensington,... More >

Savory Bites

“Savory Bites: Books on Eating in Early America,” appeared in Early American Literature 50.2 (2015).  On the hot topic of food and literature, it considers three books on American literature and culture from colonial exploration through Reconstruction:  Ann Chandonnet’s Colonial Food (Shire 2013); Michael A. LaCombe’s Political Gastronomy: Food... More >

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri  (Knopf 2016)

Jhumpa Lahiri begins her memoir of two years in Italy with a water metaphor. Rather than thirst in Rome’s heat or a watery rebirth, the imagery of swimming around a lake seduced me. So starts Lahiri’s story of writing in a language neither her parents’ Bengali nor the English she... More >