Mariko Hewer

Mariko Hewer

Mariko Hewer is a freelance editor and writer. She is passionate about good books, good food, and good company. Find her occasional insights of varying quality on Twitter at @hapahaiku.


65 entries by Mariko Hewer

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Song of Myself

How a book of essays reacquainted me with my emotions.

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It Takes a Village

How a murder mystery inspired me to grow my community.

Book Review

The Mars House: A Novel

By Natasha Pulley

The Mars House: A Novel

This queer, outer-space romance speaks to the human condition here on Earth.

Book Review

This New Dark: A Novel

By Chase Dearinger

This New Dark: A Novel

Literal and metaphorical storm clouds pervade this scary, hopeful tale.

Book Review

The Road from Belhaven: A Novel

This absorbing tale is both steeped in mystery and grounded in the everyday.

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Seasons of the Witch

A reimagined Baba Yaga reminds us there’s more than one way to tell a tale.

Book Review

Who Owns This Sentence?: A History of Copyrights and Wrongs

By Alexandre Montagu and David Bellos

Who Owns This Sentence?: A History of Copyrights and Wrongs

An astute survey of ever-evolving proprietorship laws.

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Breathing Fire

How a book ostensibly about dragons lit a metaphorical flame in my heart.

Book Review

Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair

Meditations on faith, family, and life offer more hits than misses.

Book Review

Sins of the Shovel: Looting, Murder & the Evolution of American Archaeology

An informative, uneven history of the digging-est science.

Book Review

The Prospectors: A Novel

By Ariel Djanikian

The Prospectors: A Novel

This adventure falls short on likable characters but boasts an addictive plot.

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Delving Deep into Sci-Fi Lore

Lessons from a fictional past cast light on humanity’s future.

Book Review

We Have Always Been Who We Are

By Sofia T. Romero

We Have Always Been Who We Are

Magical realism highlights the absurdities of life in this not-quite-cohesive collection.

Book Review

Burr: A Novel

By Brooke Lockyer

Burr: A Novel

This haunting, ethereal debut examines grief’s many manifestations.

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Finding Love Amid Loneliness

A zombie novel offers unexpected insights into the value of community.

Book Review

Looking Glass Sound

By Catriona Ward

Looking Glass Sound

Killings and creepiness pervade a New England seaside town.

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We Are All Animals

How a book about a giant Pacific octopus helped me confront my dog’s mortality.

Book Review

Vanishing Maps: A Novel

By Cristina García

Vanishing Maps: A Novel

An intricate, rewarding portrait of a globe-spanning, multigenerational family.

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Carrying the World in Our Hands

Amanda Gorman’s poetry is more necessary now than ever before.

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The Faults in Our Stars

What a sci-fi novella’s extraterrestrial vision tells us about earth’s troubles.

Book Review

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

A rollicking yarn with more swells and dips than the ocean itself.

Book Review

All Else Failed: The Unlikely Volunteers at the Heart of the Migrant Aid Crisis

People in dire straits find allies amid the chaos.

Book Review

The Adventure of the Castle Thief and Other Expeditions and Indiscretions

This collection delights and mystifies in equal measure.

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Living in the Liminal Spaces

Why I’ve learned to embrace — not avoid — melancholy and yearning.

Book Review

Hungry Ghosts: A Novel

By Kevin Jared Hosein

Hungry Ghosts: A Novel

A mystery unfurls in the verdant, troubled Caribbean of the 1940s.

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New Year, New Reader

In 2023, my favorite habit will come with specific intentions.

Book Review

Bad Cree: A Novel

By Jessica Johns

Bad Cree: A Novel

A horror story with long-simmering revelations about family and death.

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Nurturing Nature

How the Anthropocene Age is affecting the ecology around us.

Book Review

The Hollow Kind: A Novel

By Andy Davidson

The Hollow Kind: A Novel

This atmospheric tale about a doomed family is a spooky delight.

Book Review

Nights of Plague: A Novel

By Orhan Pamuk; translated by Ekin Oklap

Nights of Plague: A Novel

This inventive tale of a long-ago contagion speaks to our world today.

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A Timely Tome

What can the story of a “forgotten” disease teach us about treating covid-19?

Book Review

Valley of Shadows: A Novel

A heavy dose of magical realism keeps the pages turning in this gritty, neo-Western mystery.

Book Review

Dünkirchen 1940: The German View of Dunkirk

This in-depth chronicle leans heavily on detail while providing novel insights.

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Embrace the Pain

How a book about a neurotic woman helped me experience stress in more productive ways.

Book Review

The Bone Flower

By Charles Lambert

The Bone Flower

A racing plot and imaginative details deliver uneven results in this supernatural saga.

Book Review

Reward System: Stories

By Jem Calder

Reward System: Stories

This penetrating collection prompts reflection on how technology has forever changed us.

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Bending, Not Breaking

How the story of a crusader helped put my own struggles in perspective.

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Stronger Together

A novel set in the 1790s has surprising resonance today.

Book Review

You Have a Friend in 10A: Stories

By Maggie Shipstead

You Have a Friend in 10A: Stories

This new collection will delight readers while keeping them on edge.

Book Review

Book of Night

By Holly Black

Book of Night

Stumbles aside, this fast-paced occult thriller is a worthy read.

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Wandering the World

How a sweeping novel helped me understand the global refugee crisis.

Book Review

Life Without Children: Stories

This collection of pandemic tales casts the lockdown in a new light.

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You’re (Truly) Not Alone

How Jenny Lawson’s Broken helped me see the mountains of hope through the fog of depression.

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My Literary Life

Examining some reading favorites of the last 30 years.

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A Path Forward

How Danielle Evans helped me navigate my feelings about injustice in America.

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Getting Back to Basics

Rupi Kaur’s newest book hooks the reader with insights startling in their simplicity.

Book Review

No Gods, No Monsters: A Novel

By Cadwell Turnbull

No Gods, No Monsters: A Novel

This first book of a new trilogy is mystical, mythical — and a bit mystifying.

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Reframing the Picture

Camaraderie during conflict shows the importance of community.

Book Review

Nine Shiny Objects

By Brian Castleberry

Nine Shiny Objects

This ambitious, multi-decade saga ultimately fails to connect all the dots.

Book Review

Before Trans

By Rachel Mesch

Before Trans

A fascinating analysis of identity, women’s rights, and literature as a transformative tool.

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The Composition of a Compilation

Defining our language helps define us.

Book Review

Fracture

By Andrés Neuman; translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia

Fracture

A moving examination of love and human relationships in the face of calamity.

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Triaging Trauma

Tahereh Mafi’s recent novel captures our national condition, writ small.

Book Review

Competitive Grieving: A Novel

By Nora Zelevansky

Competitive Grieving: A Novel

Though it aims for pithy commentary on anguish, love, and growth, this story ultimately lacks a cohesive message.

Book Review

Your Ad Could Go Here

By Oksana Zabuzhko

Your Ad Could Go Here

With some excavating, these tales yield up various nuggets of wisdom.

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Learning to Heal

What long-ago doctors and modern-day medicos can teach us about resilience.

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Learning to Let Go

A recent memoir about hardship and hope proved the perfect antidote to 2020.

Book Review

The Hare: A Novel

By Melanie Finn

The Hare: A Novel

A guileless young woman becomes ensnared by a malevolent conman.

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Laudatory Leadership

How Kamala Harris embodies the female strength celebrated in Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.

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Fellow Travelers

The characters in The Essex Serpent would recognize the path we’re currently on.

Book Review

Flyaway

By Kathleen Jennings

Flyaway

Steeped in magical realism, this debut novel examines human nature and choice.

Book Review

Nine Shiny Objects: A Novel

By Brian Castleberry

Nine Shiny Objects: A Novel

This ambitious, multi-decade saga ultimately fails to connect all the dots.

Book Review

Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from Nineteenth-Century France

A fascinating analysis of identity, women’s rights, and literature as a transformative tool.

Book Review

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi

Music, passion, and betrayal in 1700s Italy.

Book Review

The Hummingbird: A Novel

By Stephen P. Kiernan

The Hummingbird: A Novel

Parallel narratives intertwine in this satisfying tale of love, loss, and redemption.