Meet BookBrowse's editors and reviewers


Editors

  • Davina Morgan-Witts, Founder & Executive Editor

    Davina started BookBrowse while a stay at home mother of two small children who wouldn't stay still long enough for her to visit a bookstore. As a very young child, her favorite books were The Just So Stories and anything by A.A. Milne. Later she was passionate about all things Paul Gallico, particularly the Mrs Harris stories and The Man Who Was Magic. Close seconds were J.P. Martin's Uncle books, The Phantom Tollbooth, Giovannino Guareschi's Don Camillo stories and Gozney and Uderzo's Asterix. Before children she held a variety of advertising and marketing roles for products including chocolate bars, bottled water, dog food, banks and cheese. She is delighted to spend her days talking about books (although talking about cheese and chocolate wasn't all bad) These days she oversees the editorial and marketing sides of BookBrowse.

  • Poornima Apte, Editor

    Poornima is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and an award-winning journalist who lives in the greater Boston area. Trained as an engineer, she gradually made the shift to journalism after a brief stint as a technical writer. She loves to read and review literary fiction and narrative non-fiction and is most comfortable when her bedside stash of books looks like a Jenga pile. In addition to her editing responsibilities, she reviews for BookBrowse and publishes snappy 100-word-critiques of most of the books she reads on her blog, booksnfreshair.blogspot.com.

  • Tamara Ellis Smith, Editor

    Tamara is a children's book writer who lives in Vermont. When she is not writing or being mom to her four kids, she can be found running on the river trails with her dog. Tamara is an editor for BookBrowse, where she loves connecting with wonderful books and even more wonderful people. She is also a narrative writer for Reading Plus, a silent reading intervention program. She received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her middle grade novel, Another Kind of Hurricane was published by Schwartz & Wade/Random House in July 2015, and she is currently at work on her second novel. She also reviews for BookBrowse and can be found online at tamaraellissmith.com and www.smithwright.blogspot.com.



  • BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

    Each month, USA based BookBrowse members have the opportunity to review books through our First Impressions program. Books that our member-reviewers rate particularly highly are featured as "Editor's Choice" selections and are listed below. All books recently reviewed for First Impressions can be seen here.

  • Photo © Donna Chavez

    Donna Chavez

    Donna Chavez, a member of the National Book Critics Circle, reviews books for BookBrowse, Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association's Booklist. She is also a freelance writer with numerous publishing credits, including the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times, and is a writing coach.

  • Norah Piehl

    Norah Piehl is a former bookseller who has also worked for several publishing companies. Currently the deputy director of the Boston Book Festival, Norah reviews books and writes interviews and features for a number of print and online publications.

  • Photo © Kim Kovacs

    Kim Kovacs

    Kim Kovacs is an avid reader in the Pacific Northwest. All those rainy days give her the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of books that span many genres.

  • Photo © Kate Braithwaite

    Kate Braithwaite

    Kate is originally from Edinburgh but now lives in Pennsylvania. She loves literary fiction, historical fiction and thrillers and she also writes and reviews for the Historical Novel Society. She is the author of Charlatan, a novel of poison and intrigue at the court of Louis XIV, due to be published by Fireship Press in 2016. Her website is www.kate-braithwaite.com

  • Photo © Lisa Butts

    Lisa Butts

    Lisa Butts is a poet and freelance critic living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied Creative Writing at The New School and Sarah-Lawrence College and, in addition to writing for BookBrowse, writes regularly for Publishers Weekly and IndieReader, among others.

  • Photo © Gary Presley

    Gary Presley

    Gary Presley's essays have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and many other regional and national publications. His memoir, Seven Wheelchairs: A Life beyond Polio, was published by The University of Iowa Press. Find him at garypresley.com or on Facebook.

  • Photo © Michelle Anya Anjirbag

    Michelle Anya Anjirbag

    Michelle Anya Anjirbag studied literature, among other things, at the University of Connecticut and the University of Edinburgh. She has written shelf talkers for local bookstores and reviewed books for an assortment of sites including Cabinet des Fees and the blog BookNotes and FootMarks, but most frequently writes up her reading-related thoughts on Instagram: @Michelle_Anya, #fortheloveofthepage. She can also be found on Twitter @anjirbaguette and @bookfeet.

  • Photo © Karen Lewis

    Karen Lewis

    Karen Lewis is a freelance writer and editor who leads workshops with California Poets in the Schools. She earned an MFA from Antioch-Los Angeles and formerly directed the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference. When not writing or reading, she’s passionate about travel, garden-to-table, outdoor adventures, keeping the oceans clean and safe, and building world peace. Visit her at wordjourneys.org

  • Photo © Rebecca Foster

    Rebecca Foster

    An American transplant to Reading, England, Rebecca is a former library assistant and full-time freelance writer and editor. She reviews books for a myriad of print and online publications in the US and UK, including at her blog, Bookish Beck.

  • Photo © Davida Chazan

    Davida Chazan

    Davida is a published poet, amateur baker, average bowler and a chocolate gourmet (not an addict) who studied creative writing and journalism. She has been a professional resource development writer for the non-profit sector for the past 25 years, and has a passion for reading (despite her mild dyslexia) and writing book reviews, which she has been publishing online for over 15 years. She blogs at The Times of Israel and her personal blog drchazan.blogspot.com

  • Claire McAlpine

    Originally from New Zealand, Claire lives in Aix-en-Provence, teaching English at the Université d'Aix Marseille and working as a professional Aromatherapist. She has written reviews for The Guardian and FWSA (Feminist and Women’s Studies Association) and writes regularly at Word by Word.

    Claire likes to read cross cultural fiction and non-fiction, works that take us out of our own cultural experience into another, or that give us an alternative perspective on how we appear to the outsider. A third of the books she reads are translated. Raised on a 1600 acre sheep farm that was a location for The Lord of the Rings, she appreciates a hint of magic realism, nature writing and memoir. You can find her at clairemca.wordpress.com and flairesse.com

  • Photo © Erin Szczechowski

    Erin Szczechowski

    Erin is an undergraduate at New York University working towards an English major. She is particularly passionate about YA literature, but adores fantasy, as well. After spending a year interning at a children’s publishing press, she now hopes to move into the literary agent field.

  • Photo © Rory L. Aronsky

    Rory L. Aronsky

    Rory L. Aronsky, co-author of BearManor Media’s What If They Lived?, with Phil Hall, used to want to be a full-time film critic while writing well over 10 years of movie and DVD reviews, but eventually grew tired of the hamster-wheel feeling of it, realizing once and for all that his true love has always been books. He constantly haunts the websites and Facebook pages of Stacey Ballis, Sarah Pekkanen, and Barbara O’Neal, impatiently waiting for their newest novels, and is hugely interested in presidential history. When he’s not reading, he works as a library aide at a Henderson elementary school in the Clark County School District of Southern Nevada, and he’s at work on his next nonfiction book, his first novel, and a possible play.

  • Photo © Bradley Sides

    Bradley Sides

    Bradley Sides is a writer and English instructor. He is a regular contributor to BookBrowse. His work appears in Electric Literature, Fiction Southeast, The Lit Pub, Literary Orphans, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is working on his first collection of short stories.

  • Photo © Zoë Fairtlough

    Zoë Fairtlough

    Philadelphia-based author Zoë Fairtlough is English by birth, Italian by childhood, and American by adoption. After many years working in the private sector, she is raising her family on the Main Line. An avid reader, she came to write by accident, inspired by a box of old family photographs. Her first novel, Love, War and Ice cream, has been published in the US, Italy and Spain.

  • Photo © Chris Fredrick

    Chris Fredrick

    Chris lives in the Milwaukee area where she works as a freelance writer and editor. Though most of her client work is “writing for business,” two of her essays have been published by Brain, Child magazine. A bookclub junkie, she’s either joined or formed one in every city she's lived since the hardcover release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

  • Francesca Baker

    Francesca Baker is a wanderer and scribbler. When she is not exploring the world she creates her own out of words. She loves to explore and can be found in literary haunts, coffee shops, sandy beaches, open skies, music gigs and any other curious hole she finds. A reader and writer, she runs writing workshops, has curated and published short story magazines, run shared reading groups, and organized literary events. Read more at her blog And So She Thinks.

  • Sarah Tomp

    Sarah Tomp lives, reads and writes in San Diego, California. She is the author of a picture book, Red White and Blue Goodbye and has a MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a co-author of the blog, Writing on the Sidewalk. Her first young adult novel, My Best Everything, was published by Little Brown in March 2015.

  • Photo © Sharry Wright

    Sharry Wright

    Sharry Wright earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in their Writing For Children and Young Adults program. She lives and writes in San Francisco, where she co-founded Inkspell Writers, offering classes, workshops and manuscript critiques for Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction. Sharry has organized a number of writing retreats and conferences and works as a moderator for mother daughter book clubs. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink Literary and blogs at Kissing The Earth.

  • Photo © Maddy Broderick

    James Broderick

    James Broderick teaches English and Journalism at New Jersey City University. A former reporter and editor, he writes both non-fiction and fiction.

  • Photo © Mollie Smith Waters

    Mollie Smith Waters

    Mollie Smith Waters is a teacher of humanities at a rural community college in Alabama. She has written book reviews for Bookkaholic, The Montgomery Advertiser, Southern Literary Review, Alabama Writers' Forum, and Camellia Magazine. Mollie enjoys a good mystery, crime, or thriller, but she is also a fan of historical fiction, Southern literature, and American classics. When she is not reading or teaching, she is involved in her community's theater group, which she helped create, or traveling the world.

  • Matt Grant

    A Brooklyn-based writer and critic, Matt is an avid lover of all kinds of popular culture, from books to movies to comics and more. In his spare time, he directs a comprehensive after-school program for one of the largest middle schools in Manhattan. You can follow his thoughts on reading, writing, television and film on his website, www.mattgrantwriter.com.

  • Photo © Naomi Benaron

    Naomi Benaron

    Naomi Benaron is the author of Running The Rift (2012), winner of the 2010 Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and Love Letters from a Fat Man, winner of the 2006 G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. She earned an MFA from Antioch University and an MS in earth sciences from Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She teaches at UCLA Writers Extension and online through the Afghan Women's Writing Project. An advocate for African refugees in her community, she has worked extensively with genocide survivor groups in Rwanda. She is also an Ironman triathlete.

  • Photo © Janet Garber

    Janet Garber

    Janet Garber received a BA from Queens College, NY, in English/French and an MA in English from the University of Rochester. In lieu of finishing her doctorate, she ran off to Mexico and France to pursue her dreams. Once back in the States, she embarked on a thirty-year career in Human Resources and a secondary career as writer/ journalist/essayist/author. Her non-fiction book, I Need a Job, Now What? was published in 2001; her comic debut novel, Dream Job, Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager came out in 2016. In addition to reviewing for BookBrowse, she reviews for neworldreview.com. She lives on the outskirts of NYC with hubby #2 and two emotionally challenged cats and loves live music, hiking in the “Gunks,” cooking requiring weird ingredients, following maps and solving puzzles.

  • Photo © Elena Spagnolie

    Elena Spagnolie

    Elena Spagnolie received her Master’s degree in creative writing and Magical Realist studies from New York University, focusing specifically on the relationship between culture and authorial voice, and the Jungian interpretation of archetypal symbols found in Magical Realist works. Outside of academia, she has worked at Prentice Hall Publishing, contributed numerous articles to Travelhost Magazine and currently writes short stories and poetry.

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Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...
  • Book Jacket: See What I Have Done
    See What I Have Done
    by Sarah Schmidt
    Sarah Schmidt's historical fictionalization of the Lizzie Borden story is a tsunami. From the ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

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First Impressions

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    Happiness
    by Heather Harpham

    A love story that follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices.
    Reader Reviews

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Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

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