Quickie Review of Ghostland by Colin Dickey

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places

Published: October 4th 2016 by Viking

Length: 320 pages

Genre: Nonfiction History

Source: eBook borrowed from library

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

From Goodreads:

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as “the most haunted mansion in America,” or “the most haunted prison”; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.

This book has been on my TBR wish list since early September. Because if there is one thing I love it’s ghost stories. And, yes, that includes fiction, but I have an extreme love of true ghost stories. And all through the 90’s and early 2000’s I watched ghost hunter type stories all the time. Lately, though, I’ve watched them less and less until I don’t’ think I’ve watched a “ghost hunter” type TV show in years. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy them.

And because  I do enjoy them I enjoyed this book. And this book, while not perfect, I enjoyed it a lot. It is refreshing to read a book by someone who takes the hauntings seriously, but also look for historical facts to explain the origin of the hauntings. And that does mean that some of my favorite ghost stories that I first learned about on the ghost hunting shows are fact checked and exposed. Which does make me sad. In spite of this, I enjoy the analysis of the the hauntings and how the stories function in our society in both positive and negative ways. And Dickey has thoughts on ghost hunting shows and groups that is interesting. Also, Dickey left out enough famous hauntings that he could write another volume. I would like to see his thoughts on the Bell Witch haunting in Tennessee, for example.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you enjoy “true” ghost stories and are intrigued by the factual history behind these hauntings, you will enjoy this book.

What do you think? Would you enjoy this book? Have you read it? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.

Review of The Trespasser by Tana French

This is the the sixth book in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad Thriller/Mystery series.

From Goodreads:

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad, #6)Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She’s partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that’s going well – but the rest of her working life isn’t. Antoinette doesn’t play well with others, and there’s a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers’ tiff, but gradually they realise there’s more going on: someone on their own squad is trying to push them towards the obvious solution, away from nagging questions. They have to work out whether this is just an escalation in the drive to get rid of her – or whether there’s something deeper and darker going on.

Wow. What an interesting read. Tana French just gets better with each book in this series that she writes. Each of the Murder squad mysteries is a bit different. Different detectives from Murder Squad are featured in each novel. And all of the murders seem to have a connection in some way to the detectives assigned to the case. We get to see how the mysteries change and affect the detectives in a much more personal way than in most mystery novels. The Trespasser is no different.  And that is one reason I keep reading the stories. In this novel Antoinette, and her partner Stephen, don’t seem to have a personal connection to this murder. At first. This story is an entry into the thriller genre starring women who are antiheros. Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train are two that have really popularized that genre in the last 10 years or so. It’s not surprising that Tana French has written her own version of this type of novel.

Antoinette, the main character, is not a comfortable or likeable. She is brash, rough, and no-nonsense. There is no place setting in the novel where she feels comfortable. Not at work, not while searching for clues, and not in her own skin. She is never comfortable with the theories and ideas she has about this case.  Additionally, she is not a kind or particularly empathetic to the witnesses she interviews for this case she doesn’t have much patience. With another detective she does use the “Cool Girl” persona to try and connect with witnesses. (If you’ve read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn you know exactly what that means.) Does she want to solve the murder of Aislinn Murray and give her the justice she deserves? Yes, and this does make her a good detective. She does care. Does she feel a connection to Aislinn? Yes, and this also makes her uncomfortable, though she doesn’t want to admit it. Truthfully, her discomfort in almost every situation in the novel is one of the reasons I am interested in this story. And, in the end, her discomfort is addressed and resolved.

The pacing of the story is good. It keeps the reader off center. The subplot dovetails nicely into the main plot. While some might argue too neatly, I wouldn’t. Since this is written in the first person it’s easy to sympathize with Antoinette’s struggle to find the murder. And I really am still a bit surprised by the reveal. Is it successful entry into this genre of thrillers? Yes, it seems to me that it is. It seems to be an answer to Gillian Flynn’s and Paula Hawkins’ novels. French seems to be saying this is what happens when you concoct a mad scheme; you may not be successful. And I find that really interesting. Is it a perfect novel? No. Would I recommend it to others? Yes! Especially if you are a fan of the female antihero thrillers.

What do you think of Tana French’s The Trespassers? Will you read it or have you read it? What do you think? Have you read any other “Girl” thrillers? Let me know in the comments below.

Quickie Book Reviews

Looking back over September I realized that I wrote absolutely no book reviews. And one of my goals for September was to write at least one book review per week. So. Here it is the second week of October and I’ve yet to write a review. The last two book i read are both older books that everyone has all read y read, so I thought rather than write a review for each, why not just do a quickie review? So that is what I am doing today.

I Am America (And So Can You!)First up is I am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert, et al. I am a fan of The Colbert Report. I watched it almost every night. I enjoyed his brand of satire and how effectively he inhabited the character Stephen Colbert inhabited on the show. But. Reading it is much different than watching it. The book is like an extended version of his The Word bit. The intrusions of marginalia gets too much. Almost every paragraph has an aside. And it’s tiring. Another is issue for me is that it’s an election year. Probably the most awful election year in the history of world. And anything political is just too much to take for me right now. In another year this book might have been more of pleasure to read.

The Girl on the TrainNext The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This book is marketed towards fans of Gone Girl, so it’s hard to not compare it to the other novel. And the comparisons between the two are fair. Both have thoroughly unlikable characters. In fact, it’s hard to find anyone in either novel who is even sympathetic. But I’ve been thinking about it for a few days, and I have to say I enjoy and like Gone Girl more than The Girl on the Train (TGOTT ). Both are twisty, twirly thrillers that feature awful, awful women, but I think the twist in TGOTT  is less shocking than you would expect. And Rachel, the protagonist, for me, is in a constant state of pathetic that never changes. And some of the twisty surprises seem even more convoluted than the needed to be, if that makes any sense. (I’m really trying to avoid spoilers here!) And that is something that I found in Gone Girl as well. The twists are there just to be a twist and aren’t as organic to the story as the could (should?) be. But, right now, female driven twisty thrillers are popular, so……there will be more of these novels. Will I read them? Probably. Because I do enjoy twists! (I’m reading Tana French’s twisty latest and I’m planning to write a proper review of it next week.)

So what do you think of the two books I reviewed? Have you read them? Do you agree or disagree with my reviews? Let me know in the comments below!

Quickie Review of The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry

For many reasons August has been just a hard month to read and write about books. I’m finally getting back into it this week , slowly. And I’m behind on so many things.  I’m behind on the 2016 Read Harder Book Challenge and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, and I’ve only written two book reviews so far this month. So today I though I’d a a quickie review of a book that is a part of both of the challenges.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School in Paris

Kathleen Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder – until her boss eliminated her job. Instead of sulking, she took the opportunity to check out of the rat race for good – cashing in her savings, moving to Paris, and landing a spot at the venerable Le Cordon Blue cooking school.

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the funny and inspiring account of her struggle in a stew of hot-tempered, chefs, competitive classmates, her own “wretchedly inadequate” French – and how she mastered the basics of French cuisine. Filled with rich, sensual details of her time in the kitchen – the ingredients, cooking techniques, wine, and more than two dozen recipes – and the vibrant sights and sounds of the markets, shops, and avenues of Paris, it is also a journey of self-discovery, transformation, and, ultimately, love.

I like this book, but I do not love this book. It’s one of those memoirs in which upper middle class woman looses job and goes to exotic location to find self (Think Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, and Elizabeth Gilbert has a blurb on the cover, so you know who the audience is for this book.) I don’t have a fight with this genre, but there is something so off-putting about this genre for me. I only got through the eating portion of Eat, Pray, Love because of the gorgeous descriptions of Italy and food. Which leads me to The Sharper the Knife. The recipes and descriptions of classes at the Cordon Bleu are what I like best about this book. The chef’s and students along with the rivalries are what kept me coming back to this book. And the recipes! The recipes seem like something I can follow successfully.

What I did not love about this book. The trials and tribulations of finding the perfect apartment in the center of Paris. The sadness of living out with the poor folk out on the eastern edge of Paris. The struggles of getting to school on the metro, and the uncomfortable feeling of struggling back to the apartment through the children of the neighborhood begging for money. And she did have a serious issue with her new husband towards the end of the book, but all the other tone deaf “trials”earlier in the book make it hard to feel too sorry or sympathetic for her.

Now, that being said, its not a bad story. I will recommend it to anyone who is interested in what it’s like to attend the Cordon Bleu in Paris. But if you are looking for inspiration…..No. Read something else. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

What do you think? Would you read this book? Do you like memoirs? Do you like novels that include recipes? If you do, let me know in the comments!

Review of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling)

  • Author: Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling, Robert Glenister (Narrator)
  • Genre: Mystery/Crime
  • Version: Audiobook (17 hours, 17 minutes)
  • Publisher: June 19th 2014 by Hatchette Audio
  • Source: Library
  • Read: July 18-27th.
  • 4 stars

From Goodreads:

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

What a fun read! I think after reading this second book of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s detective series that I really just like the way this women tells a story. Wizards or detectives, I’m all in.  All of the characters, both major and minor, are well fleshed out and interesting, the plot moves and doesn’t dawdle, and I was completely surprised to find out who the killer is at the end. The subplot that focuses on Corm and Robin’s relationship is well done, too. And I really think that this second book in her Cormoran Strike series would have given her cover away if her pen name hadn’t been leaked earlier. This novel focuses on a world J.K. Rowling knows well: publishing. The references to so many stories about literary figures, stereotypes of writers, and even famous feuds make this a fun, and for me, a delicious read. And it’s sort of hilarious the way Rowling paints male literary writers, too.

I also love the growing friendship between Cormoran and his assistant Robin. The reliance they have on each other is sweet. And his respect for her is also refreshing. It’s not surprising that J.K. Rowling writes such lovely relationships (see all the Harry Potter books), but in the more hard boiled mystery novel it’s certainly refreshing to have that kind of relationship between a man and a woman.

I listened to this book as a part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, Task 9. Listen to an audiobook that was won an Audie Award. This won the Audie Award for Mystery 2015 and I can understand why. Robert Glenister is the narrator and he does a wonderful job. And, as an American, I loved hearing all of the different English accents. As the week I listened went on, I found myself using some of my favorite British expressions and pronunciations (well, as close as I could get) around the house. And, yes, most of it was swearing.

Overall, I enjoyed the bloody hell out of this book (see what I did there?), and I will encourage you to read this book and the entire series as well. Don’t be afraid to read it because it isn’t Harry Potter, and think you can only read J.K. Rowling if she is writing HP novels. J.K. Rowling writes a damn good mystery novel and, if you love mysteries, you will enjoy the Cormoran Strike stories too.




Review of In a Dark, Dark Wood

  • In a Dark, Dark WoodAuthor: Ruth Ware
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Version: Paperback (309 pages)
  • Publisher: Scout Press
  • Source: Purchased
  • Read: July 16-17th.
  • 3 1/2 stars


Nora Shaw a 26 year old mystery writer living a quiet, isolated life in London is unexpectedly invited to a Hen weekend for a childhood friend, Clare. It’s unexpected because their friendship ended badly and they have not seen each other in ten years. The party is held at an isolated house deep in the English countryside on a cold, gray, and snowy November. Most of the attendees aren’t acquainted with Nora, except for Nina who was a friend of Nora’s ten years ago. The hostess is Clare’s college friend Flo. Flo is scarily fixated on Clare having a perfect Hen’s party. But Clare has secrets that will disrupt the weekend and lead to a shocking conclusion to this story.

My Thoughts:

I liked this story quite a lot. It’s pacing is spot on and the characters are interesting. And the plot of this thriller is well thought-out and, forgive the pun, well executed. It hits all the story beats for a thriller/mystery. But those same plot points make it clear pretty early on who the killer will be in spite of some good red herrings. And that’s why I gave this 3 1/2 stars rather than 4 stars; it’s just a bit too predictable. But not in a bad way, if that makes any sense. I still wanted to find out the answers for certain, and so I couldn’t put the book down.

I really liked the main character Nora, AKA Lee, AKA Leo (who is she, exactly?). She is a young mystery writer so it is easy for me to forgive some of her flaws. After all she is young. And I like that that she is a mystery writer as well. She slyly reminds us again and again that writers can be, well, untrustworthy. And that writers will do this all in service to the story.

The brain doesn’t remember  well. It tells stories. It fills in the gaps, and implants those fantasies as memories…..But I don’t know if I’m remembering what happened–or what I want to have happened. I’m a writer. I’m a professional liar. It’s hard to know when to stop, you know? You see a gap in the narrative, you want to fill it with a reason, a motive, a plausible explanation. And the harder I push, the more the facts dissolve beneath my fingers…  page 171 0f In a Dark, Dark Wood.

And here she tells you to be careful and not trust her because she is a liar. Which is a fun thing to say because it’s true. Writers are liars. But it also makes the reader trust Nora a bit more because she is telling the truth to us. It’s quite clever!  The other characters are interesting, but stereotypical. Flo’s obsession with Clare is familiar since she shows up in films, TV shows, and novels alike. As do the bitchy gay friend Tom and Nina the no nonsense caller-outter of BS. Clare, the bride-to-be and former friend of Nora, is a bit more blurry a character. Its hard to get a fix on her.

If you are a fan of mystery thrillers such as Girl on the Train or Gone Girl (according to the back cover of my paperback) pick this one up and give it a try. As I’ve said this book is a quick, fast paced read that is perfect for summer.

Review of Station Eleven

Station ElevenWow. Where to begin? Well, let me start with a short summary. It begins with the death from a massive heart attack of Arthur Leander on stage while playing Lear in King Lear. A young man from the audience tries to save him but is unsuccessful. The young man comforts a child actor who is onstage and witnesses Arthur’s death. All of this happens on the night that a flu pandemic starts to spread across the world. Within weeks most of the world’s population is dead and civilization ceases to exist.

An incomplete list:
No more diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below. No more ball games played out under floodlights. No more porch lights with moths fluttering on summer nights. No more trains running under the surface of cities on the dazzling power of the electric third rail. No more cities. No more films, except rarely, except with a generator drowning out half the dialogue, and only then for the first little while until the fuel for the generators ran out, because automobile gas goes stale after two or three years. Aviation gas lasts longer, but it was difficult to come by.
No more screens shining in the half-light as people raise their phones above the crowd to take pictures of concert states. No more concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens, no more electronica, punk, electric guitars.
No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one’s hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite.

The child actor, Kirsten, has survived. It’s twenty years after ground zero and she is traveling with The Symphony. They are a group of musicians and actors that travel around the upper Midwest performing in a circuit of small towns and communities that have arisen since the pandemic. The Symphony has left two of the company in one of these communities in order to safely deliver the couples baby. They return to find that the members were forced to leave the town when it was taken over by a militant religious group known as the light.

I loved this book. The story is fascinating. There are a lot of books out there that focus on what happens after the world, as we know it, ends. What will the survivors do? How long will it take to start over again? And this story attempts to answer that question. And it explores a bit about the world that is lost, and how to deal with those remembrances. And unlike many such books it focus more on the end and how it affects a group people, and how, after the turmoil, they begin to start being “civilized.”

Another thing I like about this book is that women are that women, it least in the groups of main characters, are not sent back to the stone age. Women are strong and capable of surviving without a man to protect and provide. Women can protect themselves, thank you very much. The conflicts faced by all survivors are equal. And that is something I enjoyed reading.

Review of Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

Click to Read More!This is day seven of the #WeekofReveiws #Reviewathon challenge hosted by Andi at Estella’s Revenge.  If you would like to read my earlier reviews click here , herehere, here, and here. And click here if you would like to see my star rating system. Also be sure to visit Estella’s Revenge to read Andi’s reviews and links to #WeekofReviews by other bloggers participating in this challenge.

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach      Spook by Mary Roach

  • Pub. Date: 2005
  • Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.
  • Format: Kindle
  • pages: 321
  • Source: Amazon
  • 3 1/2 stars

Mary Roach is known for her well-researched, nonfiction books. And they are fascinating by all accounts. In Spook she asks the question is there life after death? And the book is her answer to this question. As a researcher she knows that getting background information is important. So she examines what religion says about it, including Egyptian beliefs, reincarnation,and Christian beliefs. And she examines the beginning of mediums and speaking to the dead. This last bit is fascinating. The story of the Fox sisters and the industry they spawned is beyond belief. She also examines how science has attempted to discover if there is life after death.

This is a fun read. Roach’s writing is fun and easy to read. This is not at all like reading a dense scientific journal article or college textbook. There is a wryness without being too snarky. And she treats the subject seriously without being too serious. And she does a good job of explaining the more difficult concepts without writing down to the reader. Now, you must have a strong stomach because she does not shy away from gross or nasty details. I’m still not right after reading her description of how mediums in the 19th century made and deployed ectoplasm. I’ll say no more. But it is all fascinating.





Reviews of Beautiful Ruins and Rooms

Click to Read More!This is day six of the #WeekofReveiws #Reviewathon challenge hosted by Andi at Estella’s Revenge. I missed posting a review yesterday, so I’m doubling up today. If you would like to read my earlier reviews click here , herehere  and here. And click here if you would like to see my star rating system. Also be sure to visit Estella’s Revenge to read Andi’s reviews and links to #WeekofReviews by other bloggers participating in this challenge.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters

  • Pub. Date: 2012
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Format: Trade paperback
  • pages: 337
  • Source: bookstore!
  • 4 stars

I’ve had this book in ye olde TBR for a couple of years. I bought it because I love, love, love gossipy old Hollywood stories. And this one is just that. Now, let me be clear. It is fictional. Richard Burton shows up, but that is about it. There are mentions of Elizabeth Taylor, too. But this is a novel. The main characters are all fiction.

In April of 1962 Dee Moray escapes her dangerous on set love affair with Richard Burton to a small hotel on the coast of Italy owned by Pasquale. The two are both fragile and need kindness from someone. Both are rejected by their loves, you see. In spite of their difficulties in communicating, they find that understanding with each other.

Skipping 40 years forward, Dee’s son Patrick is searching for himself. He is a half-assed musician who goes through women by the score. He needs to find himself. Around this same time, Pasquale’s wife has died and he travels to Hollywood to find his lost love Dee Moray. And at the same-time A young man from Northern California is traveling to Hollywood to try and sell a script. All of these stories  come together and make sense at the end. And do it all beautifully, too. This is a perfect read for a hot weekend when you can’t get out of town. And it’s gossipy. Which for me is always fun.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

  • Pub. Date: 2014
  • Publisher:  Ecco an imprint of Harper Collins
  • Format: Hardback
  • pages: 305
  • Source: bookstore!
  • 3 stars

I like this book for a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest one is the ghosts. Did I mention that this is a ghost story? No? Well, it’s a ghost story. But these ghost are free floating, chain rattling ghosts. These ghosts, Alice and Sandra,  are embedded in the house. The are everywhere, and they crowd each other. They whisper to each other and the inhabitants almost hear them. They are uncomfortable and make the inhabitants uncomfortable, too.

Minna and Trenton return to the haunted house to clean it and pack up the beings of their recently deceased father. Amy, Minna’s daughter, and Caroline, Minna and Trenton’s mother, join them in this endeavor. Naturally, all of this stirs up bitter feelings between the adults and give the ghosts plenty to discuss as well. This book is not chock full of horror, but instead full of the regrets of everyone living and dead within the house. It’s a nice read for someone who wants to read a ghost story, just not a Stephen King or Peter Straub ghost story.

Reveiw of Kindred

Click to Read More!This is day four of the #WeekofReveiws #Reviewathon challenge hosted by Andi at Estella’s Revenge. If you would like to read my earlier reviews click here , here, and here.  And click here if you would like to see my star rating system. Also be sure to visit Estella’s Revenge to read Andi’s reviews and links to #WeekofReviews by other bloggers participating in this challenge.


Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

  • Original Pub. Date: 1977 (eBook 2004)
  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Format: Kindle
  • pages: 287
  • Source: Amazon.
  • 4 stars


Dana, a Black women celebrating her 26th birthday in 1976, unexpectedly travels back in time to a plantation in Maryland. She finds herself saving a young white boy, Rufus, from drowning. Then she is whisked back to her own time. Thus begins Dana’s travel to a slave plantation in the early 19th century. Dana returns time and time again each trip staying longer and longer. She is whisked back to the 20th century when her life is in danger.  While there she is forced to face the reality of slavery for women and men. Plus deal with her white, slave owning ancestor, Rufus, who is awful.

This book is a roller-coaster of a ride. Reading it makes it clear the horror of slavery and its horrible effects on both the slave and the master. Dana is forced to return to the plantation anytime Rufus is in danger, and each trip spends more and more time there. She is treated as a slave so must learn to adapt to this world in order to survive it. This, of course, is difficult and awful for a 20th century woman. But she manages to overcome the suspicions of her the other slaves and become a part of their community. But at the same time she is relied upon by Rufus and is his friend and confidant. In this role she tries to encourage Rufus be kind to his slaves and eventually free them.  But this does not stop Rufus from being awful to her and everyone else on his plantation.

Dana brings her white husband, Kevin, on one of the trips. As a white man, his experience of the past is much different than Dana’s. And Kevin even suggests that they go West and join in the expansion of the country.

“This could be a great time to live in,” Kevin said once. “I keep thinking what an experience it would be to stay in it–go West and watch the building of the country, see how much of the Old West mythology is true.”

“West,” I said bitterly.  “That’s where they’re doing it to the Indians instead of the Blacks!”

He looked at me strangely. He had been doing that a lot lately.

For Kevin the past is a great adventure with untold possibilities. Not so for his wife.  Kevin is left behind in the past and, after bearing witness to his wife’s beating for disobedience, goes North to become an abolitionist. He is left behind for years. Dana does return and is able to take Kevin back, but he is forever changed by the experience, as is Dana.

It’s hard not to see how different this story of slavery is from other stories about the romantic Old South. After all, there aren’t many out there that take the point of view of someone enslaved. Reading this makes it hard to ever see slavery as benign. There is nothing romantic about it at all. And this book is fairly unknown, though it does show up on African-American literature and women’s literature lists. If you are interested in reading the work of a pioneering black, female, science fiction/fantasy writer who confronts slavery head on, give this book read.