Three anthropologists, four liars

Lily King's highly acclaimed novel "Euphoria" draws its plot from the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. E. Lockhart's popular Young Adult novel "We Were Liars" intrigues with a mysterious accident. These are two very different books and stories, and they are brought together here by a January habit of mine.

My picks from The Edgars® “Bests”

"Ordinary Grace" is one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Of note, it just won the the Edgar Award for best novel, announced last week. Two other winners appear here, as well as a link to the full list of nominees and winners in all the categories for the Mystery Writers of America 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards.

The question of his life

I read an essay in "The New York Review of Books" about author James Baldwin in which Darryl Pinckney wrote, "I fell under the spell of Baldwin's voice." Pinckney's story about reading Baldwin connected me to "Giovanni's Room," Baldwin's bold second novel, a classic I'd skipped in my reading journey. Now I can say it's one of the most moving books I've ever read.

Reading Tessa Hadley

What happens when you read a book by an author whose work is consistently, highly praised, and yet you're unimpressed? I discovered the first take doesn't always ring true. Here's what I experienced when I read "Married Love," a collection of short stories by Tessa Hadley.

Collecting William Faulkner (surprise!)

Sometimes the best part about collecting an author's work is the ephemera associated with it -- such as this magazine that includes a story by William Faulkner; however, when it arrived in the mail, the classic author's words were not what I read immediately. Not with Jennifer Billingsley on the cover.