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Meadowlands Meadowlands
I picked this one because I was looking at The Wild Iris and not paying strict attention. And, to be honest, I probably wasn't paying strict attention...more
Sep 21, 2011
Sep 15, 2011
Tender Morsels
Tender Morsels does a very neat thing for about 75% of the story, in that the narrative tells you almost nothing outside the knowledge of the characte...more
Jun 08, 2009
Feb 20, 2009
Evening Is the Whole Day
Comparisons to Rushdie are embarrassing, but Preeta Samarasan has a great deal of Rushdie in the twisty chiaroscuro style of her prose. Like Rushdie,...more
Dec 21, 2009
Feb 04, 2009
The Bookshop
I didn't expect to be reminded of Forster, since nothing about the premise particularly suggests him - too rural, too midcentury, too the wrong sectio...more
Dec 16, 2013
Sep 28, 2013
The Bards of Bone Plain
Even though this takes a lot of themes and techniques used in other McKillip novels* it feels most, to me, like one I don't think it has that much in...more
Jul 25, 2011
May 31, 2010
The Heavenly Twins
The Heavenly Twins is the kind of triple-decker Victorian novel that is easy to make fun of, quite aside from its individual characteristics which are...more
Apr 18, 2009
Mar 19, 2009
The Wedding of Zein
This is a collection of three stories, or maybe two stories and one novella: "The doum tree of Wad Hamid," "A handful of dates," and "The Wedding of Z...more
Feb 12, 2011
Feb 04, 2009
From Untouchable to Dalit
The essays in this collection are drawn from a number of sources, originally published over many years (it may even have been something like twenty ye...more
Apr 30, 2011
Aug 18, 2009
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
More than anything, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (which: amazing title, good job, Danielle Evans!) reminded me of Sherman Al...more
Jan 31, 2012
Nov 12, 2011
The Luminaries
I like that Catton doesn't feel the need to wrap everything up neatly. (view spoiler)...more
Mar 15, 2014
Dec 01, 2013
I'd Know You Anywhere
I don't really know why this got classified as a mystery, since it seems like just a regular novel to me? Like, I'm pretty sure any Dickens novel has...more
Apr 24, 2012
Sep 24, 2010
War Dances
I'm not that crazy about Alexie's poetry, although I appreciate it when his prose gets a little denser and poetic (which doesn't really happen here; a...more
Jul 05, 2011
Feb 10, 2011
The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha, #2.5)
I guess la Fontaine is pretty dark, but you don't notice that because it all rhymes - but "The Too-Clever Fox" picks up really nicely on that darkness...more
Jun 17, 2014
Jun 13, 2014
Under the Greenwood Tree
If I remember correctly from the (New Woman) criticism I've read, Hardy's later novels tend to be more socially radical/progressive than Under the Gre...more
Sep 18, 2010
Mar 29, 2010
There are laudatory quotes from Salman Rushdie and Chinua Achebe on the back of this book, and the fact that they feel so able to praise Farah's work...more
Apr 08, 2010
Jun 28, 2008
The Women of Nell Gwynne's
I am so over the "special brothel" trope. I've heard good things about Kage Baker, and so I assume this isn't anywhere near her best work. It's a nove...more
Oct 2011
Jan 23, 2011
The Cookbook Collector
I didn't realize until I was about halfway through The Cookbook Collector that it was essentially the book I'd hoped for in On Beauty. But then again,...more
Oct 27, 2011
Feb 11, 2011
Colonial Conscripts: The Tirailleurs Sénégalais In French West Africa, 1857 1960
Colonial Conscripts is significantly better than the other book [I read] on this topic. It's extremely coherent and absorbing, and that is not somethi...more
Sep 28, 2010
Aug 30, 2010
Diane di Prima is actually pretty good at the putting together words part of poetry, but this book ... no. I knew, when I read that it was a female/fe...more
Nov 27, 2011
Oct 23, 2011
From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
From Reverence to Rape is extremely readable, which something I'm always kind of relieved to find out about film and literary criticism. It is also ve...more
Jun 22, 2009
Feb 26, 2009
Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents
As the subtitle implies, Leaving India is a sprawling kind of book - it deals with a bunch of generations in many different places. The actual narrati...more
Aug 17, 2011
Mar 26, 2010
Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire
1. I was drawn to this book mostly because I knew there was a chapter on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and that novel needs a good analysis of the race-...more
Mar 23, 2010
Jan 21, 2010
Ten Little Indians
I like Alexie because he is the kind of writer that breaks you open and makes you laugh when he does it. I think that, in a lot of ways, he writes in...more
Jun 2009
Jun 29, 2008
Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
Okay. I have to admit that for most of this book I was irritated, because there were a couple of plot developments that were very clearly signaled fro...more
May 06, 2009
Mar 20, 2008
I think Emma may be Austen's second-best book (Persuasion, of course, must be the best). It's nearly the lightest in tone - the purest comedy of manne...more
Oct 30, 2010
Aug 07, 2010
The Observations
The Observations is a lot of fun. It occupies that hard-to-find sweet spot between really trashy and genuinely literary (I mean, ugh, "literary" but w...more
May 31, 2012
May 08, 2012
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Like many people, I suffer from Tudor burnout (seriously, I wish we would get over them). But I loved Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety, and I...more
Jan 23, 2010
May 12, 2009
The Death of the Heart
Hmmm, well, I can't deny that Bowen is an exquisite writer. She has a kind of snaky prose style, that starts a sentence one place and ends it somewher...more
Jul 29, 2012
Sep 17, 2011
A Dead Man in Deptford
If you are the kind of reader who likes to be invested in the characters, you probably should skip this book - it's not about caring. It seems to me t...more
Jul 21, 2011
Aug 29, 2009
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1)
If I hadn't read The Year of the Flood first, I probably would have been more impressed by Oryx and Crake. Three stars might be unfair. Oryx and Crake...more
Aug 04, 2011
Dec 07, 2010