Posted March 9, 2015 by in Awesome Books

An Anniversary and a Farewell

March 2015 marks the second birthday of Bookkaholic magazine! Over the past two years, I’ve written 100 articles and book reviews for this terrific web magazine. This marks my 101st and – alas – last article for Bookkaholic. Below I’ve collected some of my highpoints from the past two years.


My early ten-part “What to read?” series is one of my proudest achievements. I engaged with thinkers including Roland Barthes, Arnold Bennett, Harold Bloom, Virginia Woolf, Nick Hornby, Nancy Pearl, and Italo Calvino as I asked what we should read and why. The three best articles from that series, in my opinion, were about bibliotherapy, the classical theory of catharsis, and the question of readability.

One of our most popular articles of all was our debate about the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. I took the “anti” position, not because I hated the book but because I thought it had some issues that made it no higher than 3 stars. We got a lot of reader feedback on this one.

My occasional “Bibliophile’s Miscellany” column listed beloved books in categories ranging from postmodern Holocaust literature to first-person plural narration. Perhaps the stand-out from these articles was the one on gender pioneers. I also enjoyed adding in a few summer reading specials, featuring the best books to read if you’re pining for France or Italy. Each month from April to September 2014, I chose the 10 books I was most looking forward to in the following month; I usually ended up reading between a third and a half of them.

I was delighted to be able to give Nina de la Mer’s Layla, Kseniya Melnik’s Snow in May, and Paulette Alden’s Unforgettable some well-deserved publicity here. I reviewed many wonderful books over the past two years – among them John Williams’s Stoner, Marilyn Johnson’s Lives in Ruins, Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Almost Famous Women, and Susan Allen Toth’s No Saints around Here – and, inevitably, one terrible one.

I must again extend gratitude to Elizabeth Graver for being one of the first to reach out to Bookkaholic. I was delighted to read her latest novel, The End of the Point, and interview her about it. It was my very first author interview, though she was kind enough to say she never would have guessed! She was also helpful in introducing us to a few other great authors we profiled later on: Karen Shepard, Gregory Spatz, and Hester Kaplan.

Here are a few more highlights, just for fun: an Edible Book Festival I attended at the University of Maryland in 2013; my curious habit of literary grave hunting; my inordinate fondness for bookmarks; a paean to Book Towns, especially Hay-on-Wye, Wales; and a lighthearted survey of scatological literature.

However, I think my favorite article I ever wrote for Bookkaholic would have to be “Is Reading Selfish?” It was a provocative title meant to encourage some debate. Maureen Corrigan, Susan Cain, and Nina Sankovitch were my three gurus in this consideration of solitude, introversion and self-recovery as necessary aspects of every avid reader’s life.


In the future I’ll be focusing on a number of different print and online writing venues. Another goal is to develop my own blog, Bookish Beck, as a shopfront for all my online writing and a place to post personal musings on recent books and the state of literature today. I’d be delighted for any of you who are interested to join me there and/or on Twitter @bookishbeck. I also welcome friend requests from readers with similar tastes on Goodreads (be sure to add a note to your request saying you found me through Bookkaholic).

Thank you to William Yatscoff, founder of Bookkaholic, and well wishes to all my fellow writers over the years. Thanks especially to all of our readers.


All the best, and happy reading!

Rebecca Foster

American transplant to England. Former library assistant turned full-time freelance writer and book reviewer. Check out all my articles.