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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Hit the snooze button. Because you won't wanna wake up early to finish this trite piece of over-celebrated frump. Miss Jean Brodie is the kind of co-d ...more
not set
May 22, 2009
So Much for That
I have truly loved Lionel Shriver's past novels, but now wonder if she isn't a lot like the hand-walking queer (that character in Beaches who does all ...more
Feb 28, 2011
Feb 28, 2011
Perfect on Paper: The (MIS)Adventures of Waverly Bryson
I would like to write a book myself, and admire this author's (a fellow DG!) first effort. It was a fun, light read--nothing unpredictable or profound ...more
Aug 2008
Aug 28, 2008
Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud
Lucian Freud is more popular than Oprah around our house, so it should have been no surprise that TWO copies of this book appeared under the tree on C ...more
Jan 12, 2011
Dec 27, 2010
The Fortunate Pilgrim
There are a few things about this book that will stick with me for a long time, and one of them is the fact that when I checked it out of the library ...more
Oct 21, 2012
Oct 15, 2012
The Summer Before the Dark
This book is perhaps too character-driven. (Stop dreaming and go get your hair done, you pathetic old bat!) And yet, I was struck by how much I could ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 02, 2008
Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History
Oh! My God! What a book! I am from Alabama, live in DC, and work in housing law -- so I often feel like I am pacing along in the vague shadow of MLK's ...more
Aug 16, 2011
Aug 22, 2011
Leaving the World
Q: What do you get when you take a chronically mistreated woman and put her through even more unthinkable (if boring) abuse? A: The absolute worst boo ...more
Jul 2010
Jul 07, 2010
City of Women
If you have ever eaten at Hooter's -- which I haven't -- you might pause between fries and think about how that orange spandexy burger franchise refle ...more
Feb 18, 2015
Jan 21, 2015
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
I found this book in the Young Adult section, but I think I'll tell the librarian it should go in the Fantasy section -- as in, it is the author's own ...more
Nov 28, 2010
Nov 29, 2010
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
Now I understand why women used to join the nunnery: on this sodden Catholic island, there were few options for a homely girl with no income but to be ...more
Sep 2009
Aug 25, 2009
Burial Rites
If I lived in 19th Century Iceland, I would die. The cold. The smell of fish on everyone's breath. Long months cooped up with people. Itchy woolens. L ...more
Mar 04, 2015
Feb 22, 2015
The Secret History
Donna Tartt makes me disoriented in time. Don't get me wrong, I adore it -- like a laudanum laced narrative. Secret History combines a 1950s feeling o ...more
Aug 12, 2014
Jul 14, 2014
"On the plane... Paul thought of Taipei as a fifth season, or 'otherworld' outside, or in equal contrast with, his increasingly familiar and self-cons ...more
Jul 04, 2013
Jun 10, 2013
The Maid's Version
There are at least five themes in The Maid's Version that I will be talking about for the rest of the summer...

1.) This is a weird, dense fruitcake of
Jun 02, 2014
Apr 08, 2014
The Rehearsal
Ehhh! Blech! Not a fan of this one. I like to support authors when they shake up a genre (see also: Oscar Wao. see also: Plenty of books I've read but ...more
Mar 27, 2014
Oct 16, 2013
Truth and Beauty
The friendship of Lucy Grealy and Ann Patchett was extraordinary and excruciating. I’ve had some remarkable friendships in my life, but this book forc ...more
May 2008
Apr 05, 2008
American Woman
Historical fiction usually conjures up visions of sweaty English monarchs, or heaving soldiers reclaiming an embankment in some centuries-old war. But ...more
Aug 2008
Jul 22, 2008
Paper Towns
Thank God for Atomic Books, a locally owned store I can stop by weekly to pick up new YA fiction without judgment. I try to tuck them away amid the ot ...more
not set
Jul 21, 2014
Let the Great World Spin
Val says there's a word in policy studies for the scenario where people tend to feel disconnected, despite being deeply and personally connected. And ...more
Aug 2010
Aug 22, 2010
Shout Her Lovely Name
How appropriate that I should read this book while visiting my parents in Alabama -- a trip that usually sees me regress to my teenage antics of screa ...more
Aug 06, 2013
Aug 06, 2013
The Privileges
The next time you're in Barnes & Noble, be sure to pick up this book, curl up in an overstuffed armchair, and read this first chapter. I think it' ...more
Aug 2010
Aug 09, 2010
Role Models
It's like John Waters and I have tons of mutual friends, except they're not people, they're places: The Bottom, Club Charles, The Kit Kat. That's why, ...more
Jul 22, 2011
Jul 22, 2011
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
Atomic Books' bookclub is reading on the theme of apocalypse this year. So about a month from now, I will be sitting in a circle discussing The Hunger ...more
Feb 29, 2012
Feb 29, 2012
Patrick Flanery: Will you marry me? How I loved this novel! So much so that I am even willing to forgive your flagrantly Irish name and risk my father ...more
Aug 10, 2012
Aug 10, 2012
I guess we all grow up in a cocoon of some sort, but -- this book really blew my mind -- imagine growing up in captivity as the child borne of a kidna ...more
May 29, 2013
May 29, 2013
Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey
At some point in life, you stop being surprised. I mean, you still occasionally act surprised -- but it's mostly just for fun, because you've heard it ...more
Aug 2009
Aug 29, 2009
Year of Wonders
Reading this novel of The Plague while I had a nasty cough was not the best idea I ever had. But I'll admit to feeling a bit smug when the cough didn' ...more
Jan 07, 2013
Jan 07, 2013
It's true. This is the great American novel. Oprah was right. NPR was right. And so was the New York Times bestseller list... and therefore, the book- ...more
May 02, 2011
May 02, 2011
I have never read a book like this. And I'm not just talking about the color illustrations. I'm talking about the astonishingly insightful narrator wh ...more
Mar 31, 2015
Mar 29, 2015
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