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The Elephant's Journey
True story. In 1551, Joao III decides to give an Indian elephant and its mahout, Subhro, to Archduke Maximilian of Austria as a wedding gift. This nov...more
Jul 13, 2013
Jul 02, 2013
In This House of Brede
This was a find! I had heard of Rumer Godden from reviews many years ago and came across this in the $2 at my local used bookstore. What is wonderful...more
Sep 27, 2012
Sep 09, 2012
The Mosquito Coast
This book strikes me as a contemporary version of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Allie Fox at first seems just an eccentric genius who is totally disench...more
Dec 29, 2011
Dec 18, 2011
The Winter of Our Discontent
I just read this--again. As I noted in a recent blog post, this was a happy accident, because a re-reading enriched my understanding of one of Steinbe...more
Mar 29, 2014
Mar 18, 2012
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare
Gabriel Syme is a poet 'of law and order' who has been enlisted to infiltrate the Central Anarchist Council by a chief of police concealed in darkness...more
Mar 07, 2012
Feb 09, 2012
The Pearl/The Red Pony
These are two of Steinbeck's shorter works combined in a Penguin edition. Perhaps a better description is "just right stories"--beautiful writing with...more
Feb 25, 2012
Feb 24, 2012
The Moviegoer
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” The Moviegoer incarnates this quietly desperate life in th...more
Jan 26, 2014
Jan 04, 2014
Under Western Eyes
Betrayal. It's an ugly idea, that someone you trust would, behind your back, act against you. What Dostoevsky does with the idea and act and subsequen...more
Jul 03, 2014
Jun 12, 2014
Barnaby Rudge
If you are new to Charles Dickens, this is not the book to start with! I found this to be the 'darkest' Dickens I've read. I also wasn't always sure t...more
Aug 16, 2013
Jul 28, 2013
The Cunning Man
The "Cunning Man" is the narrator of this novel, physician Jon Hullah. The title comes from the idea of every village having either a Wise Woman or a...more
Oct 31, 2012
Oct 15, 2012
City of God
A cross disappears from a dying, Lower East Side Episcopal Church, only to be found on the roof of an uptown Jewish synagogue. The rest of the book re...more
Mar 10, 2013
Mar 01, 2013
If you ever wanted to understand romanticism, Lothair is your book! The title character epitomizes the young romantic hero. Lothair is born into wealt...more
Jun 09, 2013
May 27, 2013
Desperate Remedies
Recently I read and reviewed Wilkie Collins Man and Wife. You can read my review at What that book an...more
Oct 10, 2013
Sep 26, 2013
Cold Mountain
This is a story of wonder, ugliness, and sadness by turn. Set in the Civil War South, in the fall of 1864, it explores the devastation which war wreak...more
Apr 20, 2012
Apr 07, 2012
One Hundred Years of Solitude
I have friends who truly think this is an amazing book. You have to help me. Just not sure I get it. No, it isn't the magical realism thing. I get tha...more
Jan 05, 2014
Dec 25, 2013
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Thoreau wrote about how the mass of people live lives of quiet desperation. The characters in this novel set in a small southern town lead lives of qu...more
Jun 27, 2012
Jun 17, 2012
State of Wonder
A letter arrives at Marina Singh's pharmaceutical lab informing her company of the death of her co-worker, Anders Eckman. At the firm's request he had...more
Sep 16, 2014
Sep 04, 2014
The Magician's Assistant
Sabine is the magician's assistant to Parsifal who she fell in love with from the moment he called her out of the crowd to be part of one of his illus...more
Jan 26, 2014
Jan 16, 2014
The Patron Saint of Liars
My rating of this book is largely due to its ending, which is defensible as a possible story arc, but unsatisfying. It is interesting that the author...more
Feb 09, 2013
Jan 31, 2013
Animal Dreams
Understanding who we are and our place in the world are among the fundamental tasks of being human. This novel is about that work, seen through the ey...more
May 15, 2012
May 06, 2012
We rarely think a single day can change our lives. Yet this is what happens during the single day that is the focal point of this great novel! Doyle,...more
Nov 25, 2012
Nov 17, 2012
World Made by Hand (World Made by Hand, #1)
Terrorists have nuked DC and LA. A flu epidemic has wiped out much of the US population. Breakdown of the global system of oil and loss of electricity...more
Dec 24, 2012
Dec 17, 2012
Interpreter of Maladies
I am the first male of all my friends to read this book. Maybe it is just that men often don't read something other than adventure or detective fictio...more
May 30, 2014
May 23, 2014
The Deerslayer
I never read Cooper growing up so wasn't sure what to expect in reading this novel. What I discovered was a multi-layered text that did the following:...more
Jun 12, 2013
May 12, 2013
A Shooting Star
Sabrina Castro is the wealthy and attractive wife of a Pasadena physician and also the offspring of a transplanted New England family that found wealt...more
Aug 21, 2014
Aug 11, 2014
Man And Wife (Oxford World's Classics)
Wilkie Collins is known as one of the fathers of the mystery with The Moonstone and The Woman in White, both of which I would recommend. In this work,...more
Sep 18, 2013
Aug 26, 2013
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