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Amy Rea
I'm a mother, wife, writer, dog lover, and knitter.
Interests: Traveling, cooking, reading, hiking, knitting
Recent Activity
Well, this is a delight. Before he became Britain's Poet Laureate in 2019, Simon Armitage was already a well-known and highly regarded poet in his home country when he decided to do something unusual for him: Go for a long... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2021 at New Century Reading
They Came Like Swallows is a book I bought early on in the pandemic, interested in literature from other pandemics. But after reading a couple of other books about pandemics, I lost my taste for it. Christmas Day I found... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2021 at New Century Reading
This is such an odd, but interesting little book, which also, oddly, appears only to be available by Kindle in the U.S. right now, with a print book scheduled for 2021. I've seen it compared to Convenience Store Woman, which... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2021 at New Century Reading
Apparently I read Case Histories some time ago (and watched the TV series), because I rated it on Goodreads, but I didn't remember a thing about it. Which is fine, because it's a twisty, turny set of mysteries that is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2021 at New Century Reading
After reading and loving Lily King's Writers & Lovers, I had some like-minded readers tell me they prefer her earlier novel, Euphoria. So I have now read it and can't honestly say if I liked one more than the other--they're... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2021 at New Century Reading
Oh, man, this book made me think so hard it almost broke my brain. Not because it's a difficult read--it's a deceptively (see what I did there?) simple read. On the surface, it's the story of two women in a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2021 at New Century Reading
Author Allie Rowbottom is a descendant of the family that purchased the Jell-O company from its founders and made a fortune on it. But as her book Jell-O Girls shows, not surprisingly, money doesn't necessarily make for happy lives. Her... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at New Century Reading
This collection of poems by Carolyn Forche is a stunner, and one I'm sure I only scratched the surface of in reading it for the first time. Forche is writing about hard things here; the aftermath of war, including the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2021 at New Century Reading
What a year. I really don't need to say more than that, do I, except that early in the pandemic, I had trouble reading. But after a couple of weeks, my reading mojo came back with a vengeance. I ended... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2021 at New Century Reading
Hekla wants to be a writer, a poet, in the great Icelandic tradition she's grown up in. But there's a problem. It's 1963, and she's a woman--and this is not a time when the Icelandic literary establishment has much regard... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2020 at New Century Reading
I had an unusual experience with this book. I loved her previous novel, The Peculiar Sadness of Lemon Cake. But I struggled with the beginning of this one. It seemed kind of aimless and a bit confusing time-wise. I got... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at New Century Reading
My review of this (spoiler alert: excellent) book is over on Sylvia Plath Info. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2020 at New Century Reading
I usually check out this series every year, with varying results; anthologies can be a tough go sometimes. This one is, I think, one of the better collections in the series. Editor Curtis Sittenfeld picked a wide range of stories,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2020 at New Century Reading
A year or two ago, we had a massive polar vortex in Minnesota (feels like a million years ago during a pandemic, but really, it was only a year or two ago) that lasted a couple of weeks. While some... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2020 at New Century Reading
When I read Yaa Gyasi's debut novel, Homegoing, I thought it was wildly ambitious, but ultimately flawed--too many characters, not enough time with any of them. But I noted in my review that I wanted to read her next book.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at New Century Reading
I'm not usually one for self-help or affirmational books. I don't have anything against them, they're just not my cup of tea. But when I saw that Maggie Smith, the poet who wrote the beautiful collection Good Bones, had this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2020 at New Century Reading
Well, I did it. I read all of Woolf's novels in publication order this year, in spite of the pandemic. This final book is a melancholy way to end. As usual, there's some gorgeous writing and a lot of interiority... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at New Century Reading
ZJ loves his dad, a professional football player with a stellar reputation who's also an amazing father. But then things begin to change. His father can't remember things, and he's often upset or out of it in ways he never... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at New Century Reading
This book. Wow. Knocked me right out. I hate to even try and synopsize it, because I'm not going to do it justice. But I'll try: Affluent influencer Alix (white) needs a nanny, so she hires, part-time, Emira (Black), a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2020 at New Century Reading
Christmas in Minnesota, published by the Minnesota Historical Society, is a delightful collection of tales and reminiscences past and present. One of the book's charms is that it doesn't just highlight the heartwarming stories, but includes excerpts from letters from... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2020 at New Century Reading
I hate to say this, but this is not one of Anne Tyler's best. I finished it because it's Anne Tyler and it was a quick read, mindless for pandemic reading when I needed a break from some of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at New Century Reading
Why do I have three copies of the same novel by Percival Everett? Because they're not technically the same--they have different endings. It was a challenge locating them. They all have the same ISBN, so it wasn't a simple matter... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at New Century Reading
Amanda and Clay are the parents of two teens who need a getaway from their hectic New York City lifestyle, so they book a house in remote Long Island, a place surrounded by woods and little in the way of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2020 at New Century Reading
This is a fun young adult novel that has some flaws, but you know what, I liked the protagonist so much that I really didn't care. The protagonist is a teenage girl named Owl, which seems quirky until you learn... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2020 at New Century Reading
This was a fascinating book, a look at a very specific time and place. In the early 1960s, Radcliffe College came up with the idea of giving women a second chance at a career. The idea was that they'd have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2020 at New Century Reading