Life—past, present, and (in the imagined) future—is about story. Browse the stacks of the local library or bookseller or your own humble bookshelves and you’ll find that the greatest of all books—fiction and non-fiction—tell captivating, unforgettable stories. And what is it that takes one of these stories to that place where you’ve lost yourself in the world on the page? It’s the degree to which that story mirrors life, and touches something within you that says, “Yes, this is true.”

The Life in the Stacks is my search for story and truth—life—in the books I encounter. The story enchants, draws the reader in, and the truth illumines a corner of human experience and illustrates the ways in which the world works. This journey is a discipline in engaging literary culture in a meaningful way, in elevating reading from simple entertainment (albeit one of the best entertainments) to learning.

On this blogging journey I’m also hoping to dive back into the world of words for myself—to see how they work together from the writer’s end to build ideas and stories. Each book on the shelf offers a chance to evaluate what the author did wrong and what he did right. I’d like to collect here a toolbox of writing inspiration for that bucket-list publication.


In general, my stacks hold fiction—literary fiction, historical fiction, and mystery and suspense. But one of the greatest storytellers of all is the past. Behind each timeline or social or political movement is a host of stories all weaving in to the big picture we call history. So you’ll see history and memoir popping up now and then, too.


I’m over here trying to rediscover life after 30 and after babies. My mind has been in a state of hibernation, consumed with a multitude of tasks and smothered by the fog of the little years. So as I re-emerge, I’m trying to find a place in my life for the things I used to be passionate about—books and history. I would love for those two to come back together. I hope you’ll come along and find yourself inspired to look for the life in the stacks again, too.