img_3381Hi!  I’m Laila. I’m a life-long voracious reader who loves to talk about books. I’m branch manager of a small public library branch in a medium-sized Southern US city. I have a few core library customers with which I can discuss books and recommend titles, and I used to belong to a fun, smart book group. (I recently took a break from the group to pursue more of my own reading whims.) I realized that I need another way to share my love of reading.  So here it is.

I read pretty widely – literary fiction, mystery/thrillers, non-fiction, memoir- but there are definitely still gaps in my reading. I read a lot of backlist titles. I want to stretch myself, but I also know what I like.  I want to read more authors of color and more works in translation. I’m just starting to get into Romance. I’m not a genre snob anymore, but I don’t really read a lot of Christian Fiction. Just not my thing – at the moment. Who knows, maybe my tastes will change? I’m open to the possibility.

Some of my favorite authors include Margaret Atwood, Kate Atkinson, Marlon James, Barbara Pym, Jess Walter, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Connelly, Jane Austen, Ruth Rendell, Emily St. John Mandel, and Colson Whitehead.

Review policy: I don’t accept ARCs, simply because I have way too much on my TBR list as it is and I don’t want the added pressure of a “due date” for a review.

My favorite books of:


Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

the Area X Trilogy – Jeff Vandermeer

Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay


A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James

Dept. of Speculation – Jenny Offill

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie


Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

The Book of Night Women – Marlon James

Mr. Splitfoot – Samantha Hunt


The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

At Mrs. Lippincote’s – Elizabeth Taylor


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood – Trevor Noah

An American Marriage – Tayari Jones


The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

My Cousin Rachel – Daphne du Maurier

The Lager Queen of Minnesota – J. Ryan Stradal

31 thoughts on “About

  1. I’ve been looking around and I love your blog! I’ve subscribed and looking forward to more posts. In the meantime, I have a lot of books to add to my TBR list. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Evie! (may I call you Evie? I don’t want to presume.) I sometimes wonder if I’m putting this out there into a void. (And even if I am, it’s still valuable for my own fulfillment – I’m doing something with my passion for books.) Thanks for the support! I enjoy your blog too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You sure can call me Evie 🙂 I feel the same way! I send it out into the void too, bu find it cathartic. I look forward to more of your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Laila! My name is Aya, and I am a fellow book blogger/lover. I was wondering if you’d be interested in participating in a small project that I am doing. I wanted to ask a bunch of bloggers (49, to be exact :p), to give me one of their favorite book quotes. I’m going to compile them all in one post and then post it on my blog on the 22nd of this month. It’d be fantastic if you were to be a part of this. Just let me know by this Sunday, please, so that I have plenty of time to compile and/or ask someone else. Thank you!
    P.S. You are the 9th one to be asked!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Laila! I love reading your blog. You have such a wonderful writing style, and such thoughtful commentary on the books you read. I was wondering if you might be interested in writing a guest post for the series “A Reading Life” on my blog. You could choose the specific topic, but I’m generally looking for something about an aspect of your reading life — why you read, why you read a certain type of book, a shift that’s occurred in your reading life, finding time to read, bookworm problems, etc. Let me know if you’d be interested!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Wonderful! Thanks for being willing to contribute! I was thinking in the 500-800 word range. Would a deadline of July 8th work for you? If you’d like to discuss other details or ideas, feel free to email me at strickenburgpiano (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks again!


  4. Hi Laila, wonderful blog. 10 years sound great. I joined my first book-club last year so I hope we will survive all that life brings our way and keep reading and reviewing together. We do seem to have the same interests, I also like the same kind of books. I think the only genre that I am yet to try out is fantasy. Which Atwood books would you recommend?

    Nice to meet you 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for visiting, Diana! I wish you the best with your book group! Recently ours has gone through some member changes but the fresh blood will invigorate us, I think! Oh goodness, Atwood! I would read Alias Grace or Cat’s Eye first – they’re my favorites. But I really like pretty much everything she’s written. Her short stories are very good too!


  5. Hi Laila,

    My name is Eloísa Pérez-Lozano and I am the Events and Publicity Coordinator at Arte Público Press.

    As you may know, Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. We were the original publishers of Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street” and other well-known Latino authors like Gary Soto, Denise Chavez, and Ana Castillo. We launched an imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, in 1994.

    I see that you have reviewed children’s titles on your website so I was wondering if you would be interested in receiving finished books from us. Also, would you like to receive our annual catalog and occasional emails about our forthcoming books, authors, awards, and events? If you are interested, we would email our trade brochure to you twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall) so you could see if you’d like to review any of our forthcoming titles.

    Please let me know if you have any questions and I looking forward to hearing from you!

    Eloísa Pérez-Lozano
    Events & Publicity Coordinator

    Liked by 1 person

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