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Death Comes to Pemberley
I considered mounting a passionate defense in favor of this lovingly-rendered tribute to Jane Austen, but then I decided I couldn't care less what the...more
Mar 29, 2012
Mar 24, 2012
Rules of Civility
This jarring, sad book confused me. Amor Towles brings it all: satire, poignancy, whimsy, wit, irony, tragedy, charm. He creates iconic characters tha...more
Jan 17, 2012
Oct 09, 2011
The Orchardist
It is a rare read that cuts through the surface noise of daily life and becomes the one sound you can hear clearly, like a church bell on a still wint...more
Oct 02, 2012
Jul 05, 2012
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
Beautiful Ruins
I got a table at the Rainbow Room
I told my wife I'd be home soon
Big ships are approaching the docks
I got my hi-fi boom box
Mashed potatoes in cello
Nov 16, 2012
Jul 07, 2012
The Red House
After attending several writing workshops in recent months, I've noted the popularity of fragmented, stream-of-consciousness writing among men of a ce...more
Jul 06, 2012
May 18, 2012
The Round House
On two successive nights this week I woke suddenly, yelling out in fright. In my dreams I was moments away from becoming the victim of a horrific assa...more
Oct 30, 2012
Jul 29, 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 Buddha in the Attic
A lovely poemovella. Or novellem? How would one categorize this hybrid poem-novella? Whatever its genre, it is without a doubt eloquent and unforgetta...more
Jan 08, 2012
Jan 08, 2012
The Age of Miracles
Look. I don't live in a vacuum. I know this is one of the most talked about books of the summer. Big displays in bookstores, frequent author appearanc...more
Aug 19, 2012
Jun 19, 2012
Gone Girl
**spoiler alert** I begin with the obligatory "If you haven't read this and you hate spoilers, read no further." Okay? Still with me? Righty-ho.

Sep 22, 2012
Sep 20, 2012
The Road
There are large holes in my reading experience -- works by acclaimed authors I ought perhaps to have read by now, novels which have created genres, sh...more
Jun 25, 2012
May 09, 2012
It's such a funny thing when you tell someone you are reading a (GREAT) Stephen King novel. Eyebrows arch and the voice pitch is tight and high when t...more
May 05, 2012
Nov 09, 2011
I feel honored when a book teaches me something new about reading, when a writer has the confidence in his story to pull no punches with his writing,...more
Dec 02, 2012
Jun 25, 2012
The Sense of an Ending
I can think of few novels as aptly titled as The Sense Of An Ending. For that's what the ending this particular novel is- just a notion, a nuance, a p...more
Apr 13, 2012
Dec 26, 2011
Live by Night (Coughlin, #2)
There’s an element that bugged the heck out of me all the way through this novel, so let me just get it out of the way and move on, since this was a r...more
Dec 24, 2012
Sep 30, 2012
Toni Morrison never takes the easy way out. She rarely offers closure, she never spares the reader the pain, violence and disappointment that have sha...more
Jul 19, 2012
May 08, 2012
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
“First of all, you can’t fall into hating the people you are killing. Because you’ll carry that hate with you longer than you will the actual killing
Nov 23, 2012
Nov 30, 2011
If you were to read a simplistic blurb of Simon Mawer's Trapeze - at the height of World War II, a young English-French woman trains as a spy and is d...more
Jun 10, 2012
May 15, 2012
Bodily Harm
I spent several weeks in France during the summer of 2003. I arrived at the start of a massive European heat wave that would continue weeks after I le...more
Aug 09, 2012
Mar 29, 2012
The Submission
Amy Waldman had written at least one draft of The Submission before the announcement in late 2009 of plans to build a Muslim community center two bloc...more
Mar 24, 2012
Aug 20, 2011
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
Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12)
Jeepers, what a tough review to write. It's that 3-star curse: "I liked it just fine, thank you, Ma'am." My literary passions were neither inflamed no...more
Oct 10, 2012
Apr 13, 2012
Lauren Groff’s lovely and poignant Arcadia is a novel of sublime sensuality. It is redolent of the ripe, husky scent of pot and unwashed bodies, the s...more
Jun 21, 2012
Mar 20, 2012
The Journal of Hélène Berr
"...I have a duty to write because other people must know. Every hour of every day there is another painful realization that other folk do not know,
Jul 18, 2012
Jun 04, 2010
The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life
I get the same rush of hands-rubbing-together glee buying a new writing guide as I do a new cookbook (well, almost - if only writing guides had drool-...more
Aug 03, 2012
Jun 23, 2012
Toby's Room
The bitter irony of war is that it defines life at the same time as it destroys. For those in uniform, following orders is the one raison d’etre when...more
Dec 28, 2012
Oct 10, 2012
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2)
I admit to having a bit of a crush on Thomas Cromwell. All right, he's a bit long in the tooth for me, a perhaps a bit round from the life at court th...more
Jul 25, 2012
May 03, 2012
Island Beneath the Sea
Three & a half stars.

Isabel Allende is a passionate, confident storyteller. To read her sweeping historical fiction is to surrender to high drama...more
Jul 14, 2012
Mar 24, 2012
Sacred Country
Mary Ward stands shivering in a Suffolk, England field in February, 1952 and realizes she is meant to be a boy. She is just six years old. Within its...more
Mar 18, 2012
Oct 02, 2008
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