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The Forgotten Waltz
Anne Enright won the 2007 Booker for The Gathering I liked it, liked it, liked it, always meant to get back to Anne, and here she is with The Forgott ...more
Nov 2011
May 16, 2012
All That Is
James Salter's Phillip Bowman survives two sinking ships in WWII. Then he comes home, gets a job as an editor, then gets married, then gets divorced a ...more
Apr 2013
May 30, 2013
The Good Lord Bird
I last read James McBride several years back and loved his Miracle at St. Anna's but somehow didn't return till now. And yes, here I am at last with T ...more
Sep 2013
Sep 24, 2013
The Antelope Wife
It’s human nature to want people to like what you like, but when they resist, pointing to reasons they should like it is like explaining a joke. No la ...more
Nov 2008
May 08, 2012
I don’t know how Percival Everett made it on to recommended reading list, but I downloaded Assumptions and launched into what seemed like a well-done, ...more
Jan 2012
May 16, 2012
I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen
I feel cheated, and by my own self. Leonard Cohen was a major part of my life, and I didn’t even know he was there. Talk about clueless.

Born in Montre
Jan 2013
Dec 26, 2012
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace seems to be--have been, rather. He hanged himself in 2008--one of those writers with, as a friend of mine put it, an empty wasteb ...more
Apr 2011
May 16, 2012
Travels With My Aunt
A total departure from all others in the current list of Greenies I’ve been reading. It’s a, strangely believe it, comedy. And damned good. “I met my ...more
not set
May 06, 2012
Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
Nathaniel Philbrick gets a WriterWorking prize for the best epigram ever to frame a book for this quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII: “I have ventur ...more
May 2008
May 07, 2012
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
Louise Erdrich’s work is no secret. She’s been one of those rarities among artists--both popular and respected--at least since Love Medicine won the N ...more
Dec 06, 2006
May 06, 2012
Peter the Great: His Life and World
If You were Peter the Great

You would kill your son

Because he had no interest in Tsardom

Because you’d planted an autocrat seed

And it grew into a common
Apr 2012
May 16, 2012
The Goldfinch
Here’s another conflict between me, the critics, and the best-seller list. My question: How to write a dull novel that begins with a terrorist explosi ...more
Jan 2014
Jan 24, 2014
Young Stalin
After reading Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The Court of the Red Tsar (Sabout Stalin’s post revolution reign I didn’t want to read more. I think Montefiore ...more
Jan 2008
May 07, 2012
Stoner is a half-forgotten classic by John Williams, to which I was guided by the number one source of so many of my book choices—a friend’s recommen ...more
Mar 2008
May 07, 2012
Dolls Behaving Badly
They don't write too many novels about the class of characters in Dolls Behaving Badly--
blue collar, paycheck-to-paycheck, up to here in credit card d
Feb 2013
Feb 23, 2013
The Surrendered
I just finished this one and am still trying to catch my breath. The Surrendered is not just a novel, but an experience. A powerful one. I read Lee’s ...more
Oct 2011
May 16, 2012
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
My ignorance sometimes appalls me. The first time I visited Santa Fe --in my 40’s, old enough and educated enough to know better--I was astounded to ...more
Jan 2009
May 08, 2012
Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker
Kansas City Lightning not only takes us inside Charlie Parker's life, but into the world of jazz, circa 1930's and 40's. Stanley Crouch's ending is a ...more
Nov 2013
Nov 29, 2013
Telex from Cuba
In Elmore Leonard's Cuba Libre, we learned a bit about the American takeover of Cuba under the pretext of saving its citizens from Spanish depredation ...more
Mar 2014
Mar 15, 2014
True North
I’ve done it again, I think. I’ve probably missed out and misjudged. Jim Harrison seems to be an author of some note and some longevity. His books ha ...more
Nov 2009
May 08, 2012
Rain Gods (Hackberry Holland, #2)
I’m beset with the voices of Gods, literary and atavistic, screaming at me about why I should or should not care about Burke and his Rain Gods or Burk ...more
Jul 2010
May 15, 2012
We open with Nigerian Ifemelu at Princeton as her fellowship is ending. We follow her to Trenton where she must go to get her hair braided because Pri ...more
Oct 2013
Oct 18, 2013
The Journeyer
Toward the end of last year, I read Laurence Bergreen’s biography of Marco Polo. Subsequently, a buddy of mine not only clued me in to but provided a ...more
Feb 2009
May 08, 2012
Boy, Snow, Bird
’ve been on an African kick lately, as has the publishing industry, apparently. From Americanah to Half of a Yellow Sun to We Need New Names To When T ...more
Mar 2014
Apr 09, 2014
The Bridge of Sighs
I read somewhere that Olen Steinhauer was a good mystery writer. He is. And is more. The Bridge Of Sighs, set in an unnamed Eastern European country, ...more
Nov 2009
May 08, 2012
Isabel Allende has had a glorious and well-documented literary and personal journey, and I've been pleased to follow her on a great deal if it. I stil ...more
Feb 2014
Feb 18, 2014
The Lacuna
I’ve never been much of a Barbara Kingsolver fan. I forgive myself for forgetting exactly what I objected to because it’s been so long since I read an ...more
Jan 2010
May 09, 2012
The UnAmericans
Not since Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision, have I read a set of stories that so captured the heart of immigrant and ex-pat America. I don’t mean to ...more
Mar 2014
Mar 05, 2014
Provinces of Night
Let us now sing the praises of William Gay, which I have done twice before over the last months. But never enough. This occasion is Provinces of Night ...more
Apr 2012
May 16, 2012
Mirror, Mirror
In the forward to Mirror, Mirror Les Edgerton quotes one of his (then young) daughters as saying something like "I really liked that book. It scared t ...more
Mar 2013
Mar 04, 2013
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