I thoroughly enjoyed this odd novella (if that's what one might call it) in which Lillian Hellman tries to make sense of a mysterious acquaintance of ...more
Feb 04, 2011
Feb 05, 2011
The Spokes of Venus
it was amazing
A gorgeous collection of poems told from a variety of inventive perspectives, whether that of artists creating new works or of a scientist contemplati ...more
Apr 2016
Mar 26, 2017
The Sense of an Ending
I love pretty much everything Barnes writes and enjoyed this novella for its meditations on history and truth, and for the way it captured a time and ...more
Dec 26, 2011
Jan 07, 2012
One Across, Two Down
I'm a huge fan of Ruth Rendell's suspense novels (as opposed to her Inspector Wexford mysteries, which I don't read as often) and always enjoy her cri ...more
Mar 03, 2011
Mar 02, 2011
Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
Anything that declares itself "a manifesto" makes me a bit wary--but I'm glad to have read this mediation on the yearning for "reality"/authenticity i ...more
Oct 07, 2010
Oct 12, 2010
Holly Weiss’s debut novel is a nostalgic take on the goings-on at a fashionable 1920s inn, where the heroine, Grace, takes refuge as a housekeeper to ...more
Nov 14, 2010
Nov 14, 2010
Jack Holmes and His Friend
I've been a fan of Edmund White ever since reading A Boy's Own Story years ago. I was excited to read a new work by him, and at first I very much like ...more
Mar 07, 2012
Mar 16, 2012
I don't usually read mysteries/thrillers but picked this up in the airport because I saw that the author was British--meaning that if nothing else her ...more
Jan 20, 2011
Jan 20, 2011
There are many delightful moments in this odd and entertaining novel.
Named after the man whose many victims include her own father, Stalina Folskaya
Jan 18, 2011
Jan 24, 2011
God on the Rocks
This is the fifth Jane Gardam novel I've read, and while I remain enamored of her style, heart and wit, I found myself less engaged in this story, whi ...more
Dec 27, 2010
Dec 28, 2010
Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller
If you stick it out, you'll feel you've been through the ringer by the time you finish this one. Dinesen's life was hard, romantic and endlessly creat ...more
Dec 2009
Jan 16, 2011
State of Wonder
Wow, a good old-fashioned novel full of mysteries, coincidences, and larger-than-life characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and admire Patchett's ...more
Aug 20, 2012
Aug 26, 2012
Jamaica Inn
The opening pages of this classic Du Maurier novel had me immediately hooked; Du Maurier's clear, descriptive prose captures both place and the heroin ...more
Jan 17, 2011
Jan 17, 2011
Heifetz as I Knew Him
Absolutely fascinating. As interested as I was in Agus's narrative of becoming an integral part of the last 15 years of Heifetz's life, I was even mor ...more
Aug 15, 2011
Aug 24, 2011
What Is Left the Daughter
Reasons to read this book: Howard Norman's use of language is subtly powerful, beautiful without being showy. Also, this slim novel captures the quirk ...more
May 26, 2011
May 27, 2011
Father of the Rain
This is a beautiful and devastating novel. The first person present tense narration and the clarity of detail and observation make everything feel tha ...more
Nov 04, 2010
Nov 04, 2010
Just Kids
A must-read for anyone who wants to be an artist of any sort--because the story of both of these creative people coming into their own reveals the foc ...more
Feb 2012
Feb 16, 2012
When I began this novel, I wondered how Franzen would be able to pull it off; the opening chapter approaches his characters with such distance, how co ...more
Apr 12, 2011
Mar 19, 2011
Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves
This is a fascinating true story--although one gets the sense that what is "true" for the author might not always match exactly with fact. Helene Grim ...more
Feb 24, 2012
Feb 25, 2012
A Most Wanted Man
Le Carré continues to inspire me. Even his most complex plots--and this book is particularly complex--are woven with attention to character. In some w ...more
not set
May 31, 2012
A Month in the Country
Somehow I managed to go all this time without having read this brief novel, which despite its easily flowing narration and the good humor of its autho ...more
May 08, 2011
May 08, 2011
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
Though I've read Swann's Way before, this was my first time reading the Lydia Davis translation, and I enjoyed it even more (perhaps simply because of ...more
May 03, 2012
May 14, 2012
The Solitude of Prime Numbers
What I loved about this book was the writing itself. I don't mean the author's display of language (I was reading in English translation, which read v ...more
May 29, 2011
May 29, 2011
Autobiography of Red
I can't explain why it took me so long to finally sit down and read this book; I first read Anne Carson's poems and essays over a decade ago and becam ...more
Feb 24, 2013
Feb 24, 2013
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
A wonderful, sad novel that is as much a commentary on American culture as it is on the Iraq war. What makes the book so powerful is Fountain's stylis ...more
May 30, 2012
May 31, 2012
Thérèse Raquin
This is an uncomfortable book, in that from the first page we are in a dark, cold, dank world both literally (the Parisian shop and household of Thére ...more
Feb 15, 2013
Feb 23, 2013
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung
Wonderful. Bangs's voice and attitude come through clearly and eloquently, a perfect mix of colloquial ease and linguistic rigor. Here's a sample phra ...more
May 26, 2011
May 30, 2011
Down There on a Visit
I enjoyed this in-between-genres work, which tells of the years leading up to and after WWII through Isherwood's relationships with 4 main characters. ...more
May 18, 2011
Apr 16, 2011
George Eliot: The Last Victorian
I listened to this book on audio and was mesmerized. Not only is it a history lesson and an immersion in Eliot's religious world (which she later ques ...more
Dec 2009
Jan 16, 2011
Prater Violet
I really enjoy Isherwood's swift character portrayals and crisp prose. Despite the comedy of much of this short book, the story is powerful for its po ...more
Mar 23, 2011
Mar 19, 2011
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