• Book Review: America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

    Book Review: America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

    A sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. [Pub. Penguin Books. 432 pp.]

    In a time of fake news, literature is one of the best ways to combat ignorance and apathy. If you’re lucky, Dekada ‘70 by Lualhati Bautista, a novel about the dark years of Martial Law, made its way into your required reading list in high school. Or perhaps you found Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn while browsing the shelves of your local bookstore. 

    America is Not the Heart is the book you read after you’ve learned the facts and horrors of life under a dictatorial regime, and now have room for another kind of story—one where its ghost lingers and never quite leaves.

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  • Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

    Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

    Nora Stephens has always had everything under control.

    As a successful literary agent, Nora is known in New York publishing circles for her keen eye, strong relationships with her clients, and her most recent success: the world’s latest bestselling novel Once in a Lifetime, written by her client, author Dusty Fielding. But Nora’s personal life is much less rosy, with her growing distance from her beloved younger sister Libby, and a love life littered with men who never made it past the first date–or who left her, and New York, for someone easier to love.

    When Libby invites Nora on a girls’ trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, Nora pushes her discomfort back to say yes, and leaves behind her Peloton and NY apartment for her first vacation in a decade.

    But when she bumps into unapproachable, black-clad editor Charlie Lastra in town—the same Charlie Lastra who turned down Nora’s offer to edit the Sunshine Falls-set novel Once in a Lifetime two years ago–she discovers that there’s more to him, and this vacation, than meets the eye.

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  • Reading Recap: January to March 2022 Reads

    Reading Recap: January to March 2022 Reads

    We’re eight months into the year and, honestly, I haven’t counted the number of books I’ve read so far! Mostly because I’m not too fussed about it; I’m a serial book repeater, after all, and if a book is in my e-reader, I’ll read it whenever I’m in the mood for it. (As Cady Heron once said, “The limit does not exist!”)

    But when I started listing the books I read from May to July, I got really excited to think about them again. Then I realized: Why not start from the beginning? Which is why I’m curled up in bed with a mug of Creme Brulee loose leaf tea, trying to recall everything I’ve read recently.

    This list is as accurate as I could make it, but I may have overlooked a book or two. Some books I remember better than others, so I’ll probably be able to write more accurate or comprehensive thoughts on the books I’ve read more recently! But that’s to come in Part 2.

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  • Book Review: Eastman Was Here by Alex Gilvarry

    Book Review: Eastman Was Here by Alex Gilvarry

    Alan Eastman is a trainwreck.

    It’s 1973, and the biggest years of his writing career are decades behind him, his wife has left him, and nothing seems to be going right.

    So when he’s invited to cover the tail end of the Vietnam War as a foreign correspondent, he gets the brilliant idea of frightening his wife into returning to him—by telling her that he’s accepting the assignment. Except the entire literary world finds out, and he finds himself cornered into following through and flying to Vietnam.

    Faced with his growing insignificance, Eastman bumbles from one misstep to another. And soon he finds that no matter how far he goes, he can’t escape the problems he tried to leave behind.

    Eastman Was Here is a comedy of errors, all by his own hand

    Alan Eastman is a lot of things: Brash. Brilliant. Once upon a time, boyishly good-looking. But he’s also pompous, self-important, and impotent—the portrait of a man emasculated by others’ success. Within the first paragraph, we know Eastman is going to grate on our nerves—and he does. The novel in a nutshell, in the author’s own words: “He needed things to go his way. When they didn’t he was miserable.”

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  • Wilkommen and other thoughts

    Wilkommen and other thoughts

    Whoever first wrote about “the tyranny of the blank page” was right

    It’s true; there’s nothing more terrifying than staring down at an empty page or a blinking cursor on a canvas of white when there are things you want to say—except you don’t know how to express them right, which could mean accurately or beautifully or efficiently, or anything in between.

    But it’s been three years since I last touched this blog, and while the world’s changed irreversibly, the one thing that hasn’t changed is how much I love reading, and how much I need a place to put everything I’ve written about books together.

    So I guess this is my fresh start.

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A banner in red and gold that says, "Welcome to Katerina liebt!"

Hi! I’m Katerina (she/her), a reader and book reviewer. You might know me from my reviews for Fully Booked‘s First Look Club! You can find my most recent reviews here.

Katerina liebt is my little corner of the internet where I can write about anything I love—hence my blog title, Katerina loves! Expect book reviews, reading round-ups, and anything else that makes me happy. (But mostly books.)

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