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Bridge of Sighs
Flashback to 1999: setting off on a 30-hour train ride between Halifax and London, ON, I pick up Russo's new novel Straight Man, on the recommendation...more
Oct 2007
Oct 28, 2007
The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
My wife stumbled upon the first Louise Penny mystery, Still Life, in the Halifax Airport bookstore a few years ago. (A surprisingly good store, I reco...more
Jan 2008
Jan 20, 2008
Fugitive Pieces
Smug, self-serving twaddle.

Yes, Michaels has a way with metaphor. But metaphor also gets away from her. This book is relentless in its "poetic manner"...more
Dec 2007
Dec 19, 2007
The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström, #1)
Pretty dreadful. I'm not quite sure how I read the whole thing--in little bits and pieces over the semester, I think--maybe that prevented me from see...more
not set
Mar 15, 2009
Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939
I can't rate this book, in good conscience, because I couldn't finish it. Terrible drivel. The problem isn't that Roiphe relies almost exclusively on...more
not set
Dec 25, 2007
Farthing (Small Change, #1)
Thoughts on Jo Walton's Farthing and its sequel Ha'Penny:

Really, these are the most delightful, most exciting, most troubling, most resonant books I'v...more
Dec 2007
Dec 10, 2007
Snow Angels (Inspector Kari Vaara, #1)
When I was small, one book made a particular, inordinate impression on me, out of all proportion to its literary merit, so much so that I still have i...more
not set
Oct 23, 2011
What Was Lost
3 1/2 stars would be more accurate. Quick and mostly compelling first novel--written in 3rd person no less! Free indirect dicoruse! Hooray!

One of the...more
Jul 2008
Jul 15, 2008
The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow, #2)
I was grumpy about the first book in this series (see my review) and probably only picked this one up at the library because Jenny Davidson mentioned...more
not set
Oct 23, 2011
The Story of a Life
It doesn't feel right, for various reasons, to give stars to books about the Holocaust.

I should note, even as I say this, that Appelfeld's memoir, as...more
Dec 2007
Dec 10, 2007
The Sibyl in Her Grave (Hilary Tamar Mystery, #4)
A strange little book that I'd idly picked up years ago and only turned to now. Undoubtedly, this book is not for everyone--as the Alexander Keith's B...more
Jul 2007
Jul 01, 2007
Britten and Brülightly
What a disappointment! The redoubtable Sarah Weinberg, on her marvelous crime fiction blog, raved about this new graphic novel, and her word's usually...more
not set
Jun 15, 2009
Samuel Johnson Is Indignant
If the house is on fire and there's only time to save one book, this might just be the one.
not set
Jan 10, 2008
Götz and Meyer
Thanks to a friend with impeccable taste, I was alerted to this existence of this quite extraordinary text, which I read over the course of an afterno...more
Jan 2008
Jan 20, 2008
The Night Ferry
Robotham uses the increasingly popular technique of "cascading protagonists" (that is, a minor character in his first novel narrates the second; a min...more
Aug 2007
Aug 15, 2007
Out Stealing Horses
I admit the book suffered for me at first because I came to it immediately after finishing vol 4 of Proust, and everything suffers in comparison to Pr...more
not set
Jun 26, 2010
Thanks to my favourite librarian (thanks, Rob!), I have a now not-so-advanced reader's copy of this, Faulks's newest. And there's a lot of good buzz a...more
Nov 2007
Dec 01, 2007
Superior thriller--takes what is typically a rather male genre and revitalizes it by virtue of the female protagonist and its repeated thematization o...more
not set
Aug 08, 2008
The Chalk Circle Man (Commissaire Adamsberg, #1)
I get that Vargas wants a different kind of detective--indeed, Adamsberg is the anti-Sherlock Holmes. No logic or attempt thereat, but rather pure int...more
not set
Feb 22, 2009
Officer Down
Promising though mostly indifferent procedural. The opening scene--an attempted arrest in an abandoned building that goes awry--is quite good: the pro...more
Dec 2007
Dec 16, 2007
The Aunt's Story
It's criminal that this book is out of print. (Plus a serious bummer, as I would love to add it to my Experimental Lit class.) White's third novel is...more
not set
Jul 28, 2012
The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book
Intermittently amusing comic, which in the end didn't leave a deep impression. I really think the genre is best suited (in its arty versions at any ra...more
not set
Jun 26, 2010
The Troubled Man (Wallander, #11)
A very, very sad book. But a brilliant crime novel, one of the very best I’ve read in ages.

When Mankell is at his best, as he is here, there are two...more
Dec 2012
Jan 04, 2013
Totally conflicted about this book. As someone who studies and teaches literary representations of the Holocaust, I often wonder how I will tell my ow...more
Dec 2012
Jan 04, 2013
The Beginning of Spring
The best book I read in 2011 was published in 1988. I'd read Fitzgerald before and found her interesting but not especially compelling. Thank goodness...more
not set
Dec 27, 2011
Speak, Nabokov
Certainly more compelling than Maar's earlier book on Nabokov (The Two Lolitas) but bedeviled by the same key problem, namely that it fails to answer...more
not set
Jun 27, 2010
School for Love
I adore the Balkan Trilogy, and am making my way through The Levant Trilogy. So I knew going into this that Olivia Manning is a writer with serious ch...more
May 2013
Jun 06, 2013
Chroniques de Jérusalem
My first book by Delisle (which I read in English--for some reason, the translation is not available on goodreads). I certainly found his visual style...more
not set
Jun 21, 2012
The Marriage Plot
How disappointing! Where is the Eugenides of The Virgin Suicides? Where is the rich, inspired prose? Where are the ideas? Eugenides seems to have as n...more
not set
Dec 22, 2011
A Month in the Country
A lovely book that for some reason doesn’t seem to be staying with me. It tells the story of a veteran of the Western Front who in the summer after th...more
Dec 2012
Jan 04, 2013
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