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A Moveable Feast
If you haven't been to Paris, you just won't get A Moveable Feast...
If you aren't already a fan of Hemingway, don't bother reading A Moveable Feast

May 20, 2012
Mar 13, 2012
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
Three years ago I implemented a personal tradition: to read a "Monster Classic" each year. This is my term, referring to a piece of writing that is gr ...more
Aug 28, 2012
May 15, 2011
The Magus
Oh boy. Here's the thing: If you read this novel as a citizen of 2010, a member of our hyper-speed, uber-connected modern society that navel-gazes in ...more
Jan 06, 2010
Dec 11, 2009
A Handful of Dust
Reading Waugh is like being air-kissed by a socialite who clutches your shoulder in mock affection with one hand while raising an ice-pick behind your ...more
Sep 24, 2010
Sep 19, 2010
A Death in the Family
When I told Brendan that I'd finished "A Death in the Family" he asked me how it made me feel. Not "What did you think of the book?" but "How did it m ...more
Nov 18, 2009
Sep 20, 2008
The Waves
For three weeks I have looked at this book on my desk, trying to summon the necessary courage to write up my thoughts. Courage, because whatever I say ...more
Apr 03, 2015
Dec 07, 2014
To the Lighthouse
There came a point early in To The Lighthouse when I understood why I had not been ready to read Virginia Woolf before now, or if I had, it would have ...more
Dec 27, 2014
Dec 23, 2014
Play It As It Lays
Joan Didion once said that writing is a hostile act. An imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space.

Play It As It Lays,
Jun 02, 2015
Jun 01, 2015
To me, this novel represents literary perfection. The writer presents her characters without judgment, unrolls a plot that is simple in the outline bu ...more
Mar 31, 2009
Mar 07, 2009
The Dead
The volumes of literary analysis of The Dead proclaim this as the perfect short story ever written. The instructor of a short-story writing workshop I ...more
Mar 07, 2011
Mar 06, 2011
A Room of One's Own
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
Is it strange that I want to f
May 12, 2015
May 10, 2015
Sense and Sensibility
“We have neither of us anything to tell; you because you do not communicate, and I, because I conceal nothing.” Marianne Dashwood to her sister, Elino
Nov 07, 2013
Nov 03, 2013
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
They passed through a highland meadow carpeted with wildflowers, acres of golden groundsel and zinnia and deep purple gentian and wild vines of blue m
Oct 17, 2012
Jul 04, 2012
Love Medicine
Her clothes were filled with safety pins and hidden tears

Last week I sat on the steps of a downtown pier, stalled in the summer sun, reading my 1989 p
Aug 02, 2013
Jul 28, 2013
Ordinary People
It is one thing to read a book written by a contemporary author, set in the not-too-distant past; it is another entirely to read one written in and co ...more
Oct 07, 2012
Feb 21, 2011
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
This book. What am I supposed to do about this book? Ridiculous to think I can say anything that hasn't been said by generations of readers, academics ...more
Feb 06, 2015
Dec 05, 2014
The Long Goodbye
The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers.

I’m adding this to my list o
Oct 18, 2013
Oct 15, 2013
To Have and Have Not
Florida Keys. 1937. Harry Morgan, husband to a former prostitute, disappointed father, erstwhile deep sea fishing guide. Broke. Desperate. Surrounded ...more
Dec 31, 2011
Dec 26, 2011
"I cannot make speeches, Emma . . . If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."

Can any literary lover make us swoon more than one of
Dec 14, 2011
Jun 21, 2008
The Conservationist
This is a novel to admire, to tremble in sheer awe at the power of Gordimer's language, her mastery of sensuality, and the importance of its themes: t ...more
Jan 13, 2015
Sep 06, 2014
So Long, See You Tomorrow
A gunshot cracks the crystalline stillness of an Illinois winter morning. It is a crime of passion that cracks the facade of uprightness and innocence ...more
Feb 07, 2010
Dec 11, 2009
Nine Stories
I read this slowly, savoring and reflecting upon each story as I went along. A few of the stories touched me deeply: For Esme, With Love and Squalor, ...more
Mar 27, 2010
Nov 28, 2009
At least twenty years have passed since I first read Persuasion, but the delight deriven upon the initial reading has only increased with age (mine). ...more
Apr 27, 2010
Jun 21, 2008
Our Man in Havana
This farce holds the same canny and clever delight as the Pink Panther, Dr. Strangelove and The Comedy of Errors, with dialogue and pacing to which Da ...more
Feb 22, 2010
Feb 20, 2010
The Magic Mountain
This was a reading odyssey that began in the lazy, warm days of August and ended on a mid-December's weekend as winter rain ran in rivers on city stre ...more
Dec 12, 2010
Dec 11, 2009
The Razor's Edge
I was so deeply moved by this book. Maugham's writing is so astonishing- I reread sentences, paragraphs just savoring and marveling at his gracious, c ...more
Jan 2007
Jun 22, 2008
My Cousin Rachel
Heaps of gorgeous, brocaded, Victorian, Gothic fun. Took me longer to read than need be- it's one to sink into on a rainy afternoon, cup of tea in han ...more
Oct 16, 2011
Jan 26, 2011
Cry, the Beloved Country
What an extraordinary book. South Africa first came to my attention in the early 80s, when as a young teen my social consciousness was awakened by the ...more
Dec 22, 2008
Aug 06, 2008
The Moon and Sixpence
Once again Maugham blurs the line between fiction and auto-adventure. He is narrator, young writer, observing the life of artistes and privileged lite ...more
Nov 27, 2008
Nov 22, 2008
The Shell Seekers
This book represents my absolute literary vice: novels set in Europe immediately pre-during-post WWI and WWII. The "Gosford Park"-like settings, chara ...more
Sep 2005
Jul 09, 2008
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