Book Habit Blog - The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

This novel imagines the lives of the prisoners of Auschwitz, two especially, Lale and Gita, and demonstrates that sacrificial and romantic love can exist at the the center of death. Actually, the verb should be must, not can. In spite of the Auschwitz directive, that brutality is to be the essential quality of this universe, Lale and Gita must defy that brutality. Their humanity directs them to do so. In choosing to love, they help themselves and others to survive.

Book Habit Blog - Educated - Tara Westover

by Tara Westover

Tara Westover has a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge – and was a visiting fellow at Harvard.

Her memoir looks back at her humble start, born to survivalists, with a father who is always preparing for the end of the world and does not believe in anything tied to “big government.” Tara and her siblings do not have birth certificates, are not sent to school and are not allowed to seek out help from the “medical establishment.” They are left to read and learn on their own – and to work with their father in his junk yard.

Book Habit Blog - In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson

by Fiona Sampson

Frankenstein, published in 1818, was written by a 19-year-old woman who created a story and a creature that has endured for 200 years and looks likely to endure for much longer. Her creation has become a myth we continue to apply to our lives in a myriad of ways – how many creatures assembled through corruption and hubris have stumbled forth into our time?

Book Blog Habit - Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

by Atul Gawande

This frank book is a plea to think seriously about what is important to us as we age, to understand our life-options, and to face our mortality.   No solution handbook for solving the intractable problems inherent in bodily decline, this is a book-long conversation with this brilliant physician/writer, who believes that life isn’t curable.

Book Habit Blog - Moby Dick - 157th Anniversary

by Herman Melville

An Appreciation of Moby Dick on the 157th Anniversary of its Publication


Ahab is the soul of Moby Dick, but the physical and symbolic reality of the whale gives us the core ideas of the book. No other novel in American literature presents us with a more complex, poetic, and convincing portrait of a species or of an individual creature. The White Whale is the object of desire, the ferocious grail of Ahab’s quest.

Book Habit Blog - Florida - Lauren Groff

by Lauren Groff

In this collection of 11 stories, Groff suggests that as true wilderness diminishes, its qualities of ferocity, its sudden unveiling of the unexpected and its feral tendencies are infiltrating suburban American life, and that the state of Florida is the leading edge of this transition. Her characters are fully alive on the page as if they have ingested some of its wildness.