So long, and thanks for all the books.

It is with mixed emotions that I report on this, the tenth (!) anniversary of emilyreads.com, that I am taking a break from the blog.

I started this blog as a way to keep track of my own reading, and it has served its purpose well in that regard. The first few posts were more typical book reviews, but I quickly learned that Lazy Emily was incapable of sustaining that kind of production, especially when combined with the editorial letters and other manuscript assessments I do all the time in my professional life. So the Review Haiku was born.

To confirm: the reviews I write are not actual haiku, not even close. But the syllabic structure gave me a helpful means to crystallize my reactions to books. I seldom posted reviews of books I hated, unless they were a) adult books, so there would be no potential conflict-of-interest or awkwardness in future encounters with authors; or b) commercial juggernauts that did not need my help to find an audience anyway. So if you see a book on here, I probably liked it.

Running this blog introduced me to the broader book-blogging community, particularly the Cybils crew. Being a second-round judge for the Cybils for nearly its entire history was super fun for me, and gave me much more exposure to SFF and graphic novels (a new favorite genre!) than I would have had otherwise.

I will still read, of course. And I will still review adult books for my good friends at Unshelved. But I am taking a break from the three-day-a-week posting grind, which proved ever more difficult to keep up in recent years. You can always search for past reviews using the search box, or by tags.

Happy reading, y'all.


Happy golden birthday, Munchkin.

She is twelve, which means greater scrutiny of posted pictures, so no birthday photo this year. But lots of love and angst and Chinese food nonetheless.


Enchanted Air: Review Haiku

For my last review
haiku, a beautiful memoir
of family.

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings. A Memoir by Margarita Engle. Atheneum, 2015, 208 pages.


Come see ANNIE!

The John Glenn Middle School Music Department presents ANNIE, JR., this weekend, starring a bunch of fabulous tweenagers including MY KID as ditzy criminal Lily St. Regis. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll sing that [expletive] "Tomorrow" song for the rest of your life.

Tickets available at JGMS, Davis, and Lane Schools, at Great Road Gallery, or at the door.


Snowden: Review Haiku

A primer, with an
agenda. Is he a
patriot? Or traitor?

Snowden by Ted Rall. Seven Stories Press, 2015, 224 pages.


This Side of Home: Review Haiku

Twin sisters, once in
sync, face new challenges and
mixed expectations.

This Side of Home by Renee Watson. Bloomsbury, 2015, 336 pages.


The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl: Review Haiku

If you haven't heard
of Issa Rae, consider
this your one-stop shop.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. Atria, 2015, 204 pages.


Step Aside, Pops: Review Haiku

When you don't know what
to get your smart-a$$ friends for
their birthdays, try this.

Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant! Collection by Kate Beaton. Drawn & Quarterly, 2015,


Calvin: Review Haiku

Sad, fascinating,
and hopeful, too.
It's a magical world.

Calvin by Martine Leavitt. FSG, 2015, 192 pages.


All-American Boys: Review Haiku

Required reading
for future cops. And kids.
And frankly, everyone.

All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Atheneum, 2015, 320 pages.


The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine: Review Haiku

Smith is my new Meg Cabot:
all the books are the same,
but I can't stop.

The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series) by Alexander McCall Smith. Pantheon, 2015, 213 pages.



The BHS drama and music departments present CINDERELLA this weekend! Come see it, even though it's probably already sold out by now!


St. Paul: Review Haiku

As we approach Holy
Week, a clear-eyed look at
maybe-not a jerk.

St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate by Karen Armstrong. New Harvest, 2015, 143 pages.


Highly Illogical Behavior: Review Haiku

I have yet to read
a Whaley I didn't love.
Friendship, out of doors.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley


Bedford votes tomorrow!

Local friends, I'm grateful for your support of my candidacy for Library Trustee.


Lafayette in the Somewhat United States: Review Haiku

He's taking this horse
by the reins, makin' Redcoats
redder with bloodstains.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. Riverhead, 2015, 288 pages.


The Lion of Rora: Review Haiku

Little-known tale of
religious persecution
and war strategy.

The Lion of Rora by Christos Gage and Ruth Fletcher Gage. Oni Press, 2015, 184 pages.


Courtney Crumrin: Review Haiku

Creepy sorcerers
and lots of mustaches make
for one spooky read.

Courtney Crumrin Volume 7: Tales of a Warlock by Ted Naifeh. Oni Press, 2015, 113 pages.


Baba Yaga's Assistant: Review Haiku

Creepy as all hell,
but notable for Masha's
grace under pressure.

Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll. Candlewick, 2015, 125 pages.


Secret Coders: Review Haiku

I for one welcome
our new computer science
overlords. Good fun.

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes. Turtleback Books, 2015, 96 pages.


Oyster War: Review Haiku

Oysters and pirates
and selkies, oh my!
Plus epic mustaches, dude.

Oyster War by Ben Towle. Oni Press, 2015, 167 pages.


Terrorist: Review Haiku

Oppressed Serb becomes
pawn in global pissing contest,
unleashes hell.

Terrorist: Gavrilo Princip, the Assassin Who Ignited World War I by Henrik Rehr. Graphic Universe, 2015, 231 pages.


Dragons Beware!: Review Haiku

The further adventures
of everyone's favorite
pint-sized hothead.

Dragons Beware! by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre. First Second, 2015, 153 pages.


Ms. Marvel: Review Haiku

Not your average
origin story. Not your
average superhero.

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Marvel Comics, 2014, 120 pages.


Nimona: Review Haiku

Why, what does your
stereotypical kicka$$
heroine look like?

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Harper, 2015, 266 pages.


The Marvels: Review Haiku

Intertwining stories
about family, theatre,
loss. Marvelous.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick. Scholastic, 2015, 665 pages.


It's Cybils Day!

Calloo callay, it's Cybils Day! Head on over here for the winners.

And many thanks to my fellow judges on the Graphic Novel panel!


The Relevance of Religion: Review Haiku

In this Lenten
political season, some timely
manna for thought.

The Relevance of Religion: How Faithful People Can Change Politics by John Danforth. Random, 2015, 268 pages.


The Shift: Review Haiku

More medical-memoir
p0rn? YES PLEASE. Nurses are
effing magical.

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives by Theresa Brown. Algonquin, 2015, 256 pages.


To Catch a Cheat: Review Haiku

The Baby Rat Pack
is back, with new enemies
but the same swagger.

To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson. Levine/Scholastic, 2016, 256 pages.


The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary: Review Haiku

A motley crew of
fifth graders write poetry,
try to save their school.

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan. Wendy Lamb/Random, 2016, 256 pages.


Tricky Twenty-Two: Review Haiku

Too easy to figure
out, but the flea collars
were pretty inspired.

Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich. BDD, 2015, 304 pages.


Most Dangerous: Review Haiku

As election season
starts, remember how bad
politics can be.

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook, 2015, 370 pages.


How Mirka Caught a Fish: Review Haiku

Everyone's favorite
orthodox hero is back,
with mommy issues.

How Mirka Caught a Fish (Hereville #3) by Barry Deutsch. Amulet, 2015, 144 pages.


Comics Squad: Lunch! Review Haiku

Pull up a chair for
another great graphics
collection from your faves.

Comics Squad: Lunch! edited by Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm. Random, 2016, 144 pages.


Waylon! One Awesome Thing: Review Haiku

The only thing better
than more Clementine is
more Waylon and friends.

Waylon: One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker. Hyperion, 2016, 208 pages.


Weekends with Max and His Dad: Review Haiku

The best-case scenario
of recently divorced
parenting. Sweet.

Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban. HMH, 2016, 160 pages.


I'm back!

I'm still in the throes of Cybils reading and manuscript reading and ARCs-I-picked-up-at-Midwinter reading, but I am getting tired of not having anything here to share. Expect lighter than usual posting through April, but I promise I'm still reading,

And local friends, don't forget to vote on March 12! I appreciate your support for my candidacy for Library Trustee.


Happy New Year!

Hope you are all suitably resolved and recovered from the year-end festivities.

I'll be in Cybils judging mode for January and half of February, so posting may be lighter than usual. Godspeed.