Author Archives: Jennifer Keirans

In Praise of a Reliable Narrator

By Jennifer K. If you read crime and suspense fiction, you know that antiheroes and unreliable narrators are all the rage. Some of the bestselling novels of the last five years (like Gone Girl, The Witch Elm, and The Girl on the Train) feature morally compromised narrators. You simply cannot trust them. I like all […]

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Some Good Romances by Authors of Color

By Jennifer K. If you follow book news, you may have heard that the Romance Writers of America has cancelled the 2020 RITA awards. Further digging will lead you to a massive scandal that has rocked the romance novel world for the past month. It’s a pretty complicated business, but there have been allegations of racism, […]

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Great Reads by (Largely) Forgotten Authors

By Jennifer Keirans I am a fan of a lot of authors that no one reads anymore. This is probably because I began my reading life by browsing my father’s paperback collection. He liked old books too, and was unconcerned by the concept of age-appropriate reading. (This led to some missteps: Sharky’s Machine by William […]

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Queer Fantasy Romance

By Jennifer Keirans I’ve discovered a su-sub-subgenre that I love: queer fantasy, preferably with a little romance. (How’s that for a niche?) I’ve always liked fantasy novels, and romance novels, and queer stories. Right now there seem to be lots of great books that combine all three. Here are a few I’ve read recently:

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Boarding School Novels

By Jennifer K. I did not go to a fancy private boarding school. I don’t think I know anyone who did. But I do love a novel set in a fancy private boarding school. I guess it’s the idea of all these kids, far from their families and with no one to rely upon but each […]

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Beyond Bestsellers: If You Like The Goldfinch

By Jennifer K. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt was one of 2013’s big bestsellers. A new movie based on the book, starring Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman, is coming out this month. It’s about Theo Decker, whose life changed explosively one morning when he was thirteen. Theo now has a huge secret, the possession of […]

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Great Worldbuilding

By Jennifer K. One of the things I love about science fiction and fantasy is the worldbuilding. It’s hard to explain what good worldbuilding is, but you know bad worldbuilding when you read it. What if the world is exactly like our world, except everyone has magic powers? Then it wouldn’t be exactly like our world […]

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A Few Hidden Gems: Pacific Northwest Fiction

By Jennifer K. The Pacific Northwest is home to many brilliant and bestselling authors: Macomber, Alexie, Hannah, Le Guin, Stephenson … If you’re interested in the regional literary scene, you probably already know all about those. I’d like to introduce you to a few Pacific Northwest reads you might not have heard of.

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Teenage Girls Who Save the World

By Jennifer K. Once upon a time, not too long ago, I happened to be in the Young Adult section of my library. Nearby was a person who audibly scoffed at the selection: “All these books about teenage girls who save the world.” Now, that is a completely valid point of view. We all have […]

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Graphic Novels, No Superheroes

By Jennifer K. I used to associate graphic novels with superheroes, which is why I didn’t read them. Not that I don’t like superheroes, I do. But the idea of trying to get caught up on the last 78 years of Captain America just seemed too daunting even to start. But then I discovered the […]

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