Review: Cherry by Nico Walker

I read Nico Walker’s Cherry in my quest to read a greater range of voices. I heard about it via Ron Charles’ review in the Washington Post (found here)Though Cherry‘s title page classifies the book as fiction, the life of its unnamed narrator closely follows the trajectory of the author’s life: Ohio → the Army → Iraq → PTSD → heroin → bank robbery. Though Walker is currently serving an eleven-year sentence, Cherry ends before any arrest or prosecution. With those kinds of similarities, it’s likely that much of Cherry is autobiographical with a few flourishes and name changes. Walker’s real-life story (here), shares a few vivid moments with the book. read more

Review: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

I don’t review non-fiction because I often can’t speak to its veracity. Depending on the topic, it can be difficult to see the author’s bias or where they’ve bent facts to fit a narrative. From my layman’s perspective, though, Mary Roach’s Stiff offers unique and comforting insight into death’s aftereffects. She examines cadavers and related areas of research via interviews, bizarre trivia, and humor. read more