About Katie McGinley

Katie McGinley was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and now lives in Pittsburgh with her husband Brandon and their baby daughter Teresa Benedicta. She studied Classics and Medieval Studies at Princeton and works as a children's librarian at a public library.

Divergent’s Big Missed Chance

What would happen if a group of people dedicated themselves to the pursuit of a particular virtue at the expense of all others? That is the question Veronica Roth explores in her popular dystopian novel Divergent, the movie adaptation of which has just come out on DVD and blu-ray. Given the DVD release and how well the movie did at the box office, it’s an opportune time to take a look at how the society Roth constructed rests on a false conception of the virtues.Marketed as the successor to T … [Read more...]

Bleeding Edge

 Is it better to seek the truth, or to accept the comfort of illusion? That is one of the central questions posed by Bleeding Edge, the latest novel from Thomas Pynchon that paints a picture of greed, ambition, and paranoia in wake of the rise and fall of the dot-com era and 9/11.Steeped in pop-culture references to Beanie Babies, Friends, and Britney Spears, the book captures the enthusiasm and recklessness of the dot-com bubble as well as the panic, uncertainty, and despair of … [Read more...]

Call the Midwife

  Jennifer Worth’s The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times chronicles the author’s experiences as a nurse and midwife amid the appalling conditions and unrelenting poverty of London’s East End in the 1950s. The book, which is part of a trilogy of bestsellers in the UK, is known mainly in America as the inspiration for the PBS show that “Downton Abbey” fans have turned to when they need their next costume-drama fix. Unlike that gorgeous Edwardian melodrama, Call the Midwife is gr … [Read more...]

The Compound

 Following a catastrophic nuclear attack, fifteen-year-old Eli has spent the past six years living in an elaborate underground compound with his parents and siblings--minus his twin brother, who happened to be separated from the rest of the family when the first nuclear warheads were launched. Ever the sucker for dystopian and speculative fiction, I found the premise of S.A. Bodeen’s young adult novel The Compound too good to pass up when I stumbled across it a couple weeks a … [Read more...]