Kaitlyn Luckow

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May Reading Wrap-Up

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May has been a crazy month, but by some crazy miracle, I was able to read seven books! I would have read more, but I’m currently working on editing three different books for some talented authors. I can’t tell you about those yet, but I can’t wait to tell you all about them once they’re published!

For now, here are all of the books I read in May and what I thought about them!


Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith (5 stars)

*Thank you so much to Anchor books for sending me an advanced reader’s copy of this book*

This play is based on hundreds of interviews that Smith conducted around America regarding race issues in America. The pieces are all snippets of the interviews mixed with multi-media.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this. What an amazing project and concept turned into a powerhouse of emotion and change. 

I cried more than once while reading this and that’s something that a text rarely can make me do. 

It’s a critical read.

Published: May 21



Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood (5 stars)

*Thank you so much to Dial Press for sending me an advanced reader’s copy of this book*

This was one of the best books of poetry I have ever read. It was a brilliant exploration of society's fascination with murder and the stories of victims, as well as being part memoir. It was lyrical, powerful, and immersive. I want everyone to read this. So…please read this when it comes out!

Publication Date: August 27





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The White Book By Han Kang (3.75 stars)

Shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, this is a short story collection that is a meditation on the color white.

A harrowing and heartbreaking look at grief of a sibling that never truly lived. It’s written in really lush prose and poetry, so I know that this isn’t for everyone. I thought some pieces were unnecessary and took away from the general focus, but it was really well done. There’s no doubt that this writing is magnificent.

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Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith (2 stars)

A YA fantasy book that tells the story of Princess Aurelia who holds powers that will get her killed in her own country. She flees her country, learns how to use her powers, and tries to set things right.

I appreciate the effort that was put into this book, but it didn’t work for me. The pacing of this book was SO distracting and way off. It made for a hard reading experience and took away from character development. I was dragged through this book and was not impressed.

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American Fix by Ryan Hampton with Claire Rudy Foster (4 stars)

Part memoir, part researched non-fiction, and part political rallying cry, this book explores the opioid epidemic in this country and the toxic views surrounding addiction.

I thought that this was done really well. I would have liked to have heard even more stories in the piece, but that’s just my personal preference. There are a lot of critics of this book, but reading their reviews, they clearly done understand addiction or have compassion for those affected by it. 

I loved how this was organized and how the author mapped out clear steps this country needs to take.

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Zodiac by Robert Graysmith (4 stars)

In case you don’t know this about me, I’m a total murderino. In fact, Karen and Georgia are literally doing a book tour stop across the street from me right now and I couldn’t get tickets and I’m dyyyyying.

ANYWAYS, I find murder cases fascinating. That’s why I picked this book up. This book completely follows the Zodiac Killer case.

It was a really fascinating read that I flew through. I wish that I had learned more about the author himself while he was going through this case.


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Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus and Julian Sedgwick (1.5 stars)

*Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me an advanced reader’s copy of this book*

Told in poetry, prose, and illustrations, this is a re-telling of Orpheus set in London during WWII. It confuses reality with fantasy, which I usually love, but it didn’t work for me here. 

I admire what the authors were trying to do with this novel. It was super ambitious and sadly, I think it got the better of them. 


Because this book was trying to do so much, it ended up just feeling messy and left me frustrated.

Publication Date: August 13