Recently Read: You Could Make This Place Beautiful, by Maggie Smith

You Could Make This Place Beautiful, by Maggie Smith

Poet Maggie Smith explores the disintegration of her marriage and her renewed commitment to herself in lyrical vignettes that shine, hard and clear as jewels.

I think this book is for: anyone wishing to explore love, grief, and healing through a series of nuanced, self-reflective vignettes.

memorable: the layers of symbolism threaded throughout the writing, the process of recovering your sense of self.

confusing or jarring: some of the repetition.

cw: divorce, adultery, miscarriage, postpartum depression.

Recently Read: The House Witch by Delemhach

The book over illustration showing a hearth with a pot on the fire surrounded by drying herbs and onions, and a fluffy black cat sitting to the side.

The House Witch, book 1 of 3 from The House Witch series, by Delemhach.

A heartwarming and humorous blend of fantasy, romance, and mystery featuring a witch with domestic powers and the royal household he serves… dinner.

I think this book is for: anyone who enjoys a long, deep swim in a medieval world with modern sensibilities, centered on hearth, home, and found family.

memorable: the main character facing angry or rude characters with compassion.

confusing or jarring: the main character is a gifted cook but only others react to the results, he isn’t shown enjoying creating food with his senses; a lot of the humor for me didn’t feel natural, especially the main character constantly insisting he isn’t gay.

content warning: swearing, childhood trauma, alcoholism, dangerous drinking game, sexual harassment (with redemption).