Suzanne Perez

Volunteer Book Reviewer

Suzanne Perez writes editorials and opinion columns for The Wichita Eagle, where she has worked as a journalist for nearly 30 years. She also oversees the Eagle’s books coverage and coordinates the #ReadICT Challenge, an annual effort to encourage Wichitans to explore new authors and genres and just to have more fun reading.

Suzanne grew up in North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University, where she earned a bachelor’s in English and an unofficial minor in Waffle House hashbrowns (“scattered, smothered and covered”). She moved to Wichita in 1990 and has two children.

When she’s not reading or listening to an audio book, Suzanne loves to shop for books and talk about books, and she’s an enthusiastic member of way too many book clubs. She has a hard time picking favorites, but some books that have shaped her life include Charlotte’s Web, The Outsiders, Bird by Bird, The Handmaid’s Tale, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Ways to Connect

An epigraph at the start of Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir quotes author Zora Neale Hurston: “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”

On New Year’s Day 2013, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gene Weingarten carried an old green fedora into a restaurant in Washington, D.C., and asked three strangers to pluck a day, a month and a year out of the hat. They picked December 28, 1986.

Early in Ann Patchett’s new novel, “The Dutch House,” the narrator, Danny, poses a question to his sister, Maeve:

“Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?”

For people around the world – and particularly in Kansas – Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka is a symbol of extremism and hate.

In her debut novel, “The Dearly Beloved,” author Cara Wall tells the story of two couples over decades of love and friendship — all of it centered on the exploration of faith and the struggle to find meaning in life.

Since her groundbreaking autobiography, “Brown Girl Dreaming,” Jacqueline Woodson has used spare prose to tell rich, multilayered stories in a fraction of the space other writers require.

“Even in death the boys were trouble.”

From its opening line, Colson Whitehead’s new novel, “The Nickel Boys,” vividly tells the story of a spot in the Florida panhandle where construction crews unearthed a brutal history. 

I’m not enrolled in any classes this fall, but all those pencils, notebooks and forced-smile back-to-school photos in my Facebook feed have me thinking about one of my favorite literary genres: the campus novel.

Mary Beth Keane’s novel, “Ask Again, Yes,” opens on a New York City street in 1973. Rookie cops Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope respond to an armed robbery in progress, and while Francis checks a victim’s pulse, he considers larger issues:

For eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo traveled the country and embedded herself with ordinary women in an attempt to explore a topic few people talk about – female desire.