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Cutting for Stone
Recently in San Francisco I attended a reading by Abraham Verghese, who has written my favorite book of the year: CUTTING FOR STONE. I'd gotten it fro ...more
Mar 2009
May 22, 2009
Life After Life
How do writers tell a story? How do they choose the minute details to make time's arrow chart a straight path? Take a fork in the road, make a mistake ...more
Mar 20, 2013
Mar 15, 2013
Labor Day
There is a metaphor at the heart of this book, that of the creation of an upper crust for a peach pie and the difficulties encountered when the hands ...more
Jul 29, 2009
Jun 30, 2009
The Arsonist
Once I started, I had to finish, breaking one of my cardinal rules: life is too short to stay with books that are not your cup of tea. In order to be ...more
May 14, 2014
May 05, 2014
Station Eleven
Mandel has said that her inspiration for writing this book was to make us thankful for the world as we know it. There have been many books published l ...more
Oct 2014
Sep 26, 2014
As a writer, Dave Eggers has the ability to find the small story within the larger one, as exemplified by his "Voice of Witness" series, out of which ...more
Jul 30, 2009
Jul 28, 2009
The Buried Giant
Last night Ishiguro was asked by Dave Eggers why he chose to set his newest novel in a post-Roman era, peopled with Anglos and Saxons so recently at w ...more
Apr 2015
Mar 29, 2015
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
When i picked up this massive book, I thought it would take me weeks maybe months to finish, as I'd planned to dip into it now and then between other ...more
Dec 07, 2012
Dec 04, 2012
Bad Monkey
Carl Hiaasen has been writing the same book for twenty years, and I can't get enough. Bad Monkey denotes a return to form. He's written some YA novels ...more
May 11, 2013
May 07, 2013
Leaving Before the Rains Come
Evidently, Fuller covered the material of the disintegration of her marriage in an earlier book, one that did not cross my radar even though I've been ...more
Feb 27, 2015
Feb 20, 2015
Life Drawing
Not since the first sentence of Toni Morrison's Paradise have I read such a tantalizing first sentence, one that remained in the back of my mind throu ...more
Apr 24, 2014
Apr 22, 2014
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion
Some feel that Southerners are the best storytellers. Like the Irish, they know the value of a tale that has an intriguing premise, a lot of history, ...more
Nov 09, 2013
Nov 03, 2013
This Is How You Lose Her
Several years ago I lived out a fantasy abetted by Junot Diaz, of which he was unaware. I was sitting in a cafe reading the searing conclusion to A Br ...more
Sep 14, 2012
Sep 13, 2012
In Paradise
Auschwitz. The very name strikes at the marrow. In 1996, fifty years after the war ended, Peter Matthiessen along with over 100 people, spent a week l ...more
May 19, 2014
Mar 03, 2014
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Richard Flanagan gives an enigmatic title to his justifiably award-winning novel, which is explained deep within its pages. The lives of men thrown to ...more
Jun 18, 2014
Jun 13, 2014
Did You Ever Have a Family
Every now and then along comes a book you want to press into everyone's hand. This is such a book. Told from many points of view, the effects of a tra ...more
Apr 08, 2015
Apr 06, 2015
A God in Ruins
It can only be said that Kate Atkinson is a master at whatever she tries. Read this carefully, as it slips from era to era, but it is worth the effort ...more
Jun 11, 2015
Jun 05, 2015
This is an amazing debut, written beautifully by a poet whose use of language brings the story to lyrical life. A modern day Madame Bovary, Anna is re ...more
Mar 22, 2015
Mar 21, 2015
Claire of the Sea Light
Edwidge Danticat has always been a writer of powerful beauty, but here, she surpasses herself. At the center of this luminous novel is Claire, and thr ...more
Sep 04, 2013
Sep 02, 2013
For every war there is a definitive work of fiction that defines it. My (admittedly personal) shortlist includes All Quiet on the Western Front, The N ...more
Mar 18, 2014
Mar 17, 2014
A Treacherous Paradise
Henning Mankell is credited for being the first author of Scandinavian crime thrillers to reach an international audience (although he has credited Ma ...more
Jul 30, 2013
Jul 24, 2013
U Is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21)
There is a character in Sue Grafton's 21st book of her Kinsey Millhone series who is taking a class in creative writing. His teacher specifically chid ...more
Jan 03, 2010
Dec 30, 2009
Language Arts
This is one of those books that reminds me of why I love to read. Starting with present day, the narrative advances through three time frames as Charl ...more
Apr 24, 2015
Apr 21, 2015
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Anthony Marra hits the ground from the first page and doesn't let up. This beautiful novel is one of the best debuts I've read, and while it evokes me ...more
Jan 07, 2014
Apr 06, 2013
The Jezebel Remedy
Martin Clark, a circuit judge, has written several legal thrillers and been compared to John Gresham. This, the first of his books I've read, reminds ...more
Apr 04, 2015
Apr 01, 2015
The Orphan Master's Son
Jun Do is the Orphan Master's Son, growing up without an identity with a martyr's name. He is trained as a tunnel soldier, experiences life as a kidn ...more
Feb 16, 2012
Feb 10, 2012
Watch Me Go
This is more than just a pinewood noir, but an examination of love and redemption set against the background of the racetrack. There is a poignant qua ...more
Dec 02, 2014
Nov 29, 2014
Let the Great World Spin
From the book: " of the beauties of New York is that you can be from anywhere and within moments of landing it is yours."

For those of us who re
Jun 10, 2009
Jun 05, 2009
The Children Act
This autumn has seen the appearance of so many good books, it is hard to know where to begin and what to pick up next. If you're facing such a dilemma ...more
Oct 10, 2014
Oct 02, 2014
Fear of Dying
Erica Jong is a miracle. Her voice speaks to my generation like no other, and in words and situations so recognizable, there are times my eyes would l ...more
Aug 17, 2015
Aug 13, 2015
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