Posts tagged with the keyword: ‘book review’


Some Luck

Some Luck
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Some Luck by Jane Smiley is the first installment in a trilogy, the second of which, Early Warning, has just been released. In Some Luck, Smiley has chosen to have every chapter cover one year; the first year being 1920 and the last 1953; thirty-three years in 395 pages in which a couple marry, have […]

What Came Before

What Came Before

What Came Before by Gay Degani was written by a woman who, admittedly, got “lost in living.” Like so many people, and I suppose I mean particularly women, Degani felt writing took up too much of her time, time that “should” be spent—and would be better spent—raising a family, i.e. taking care of others and […]

Patricia Schultz & Her 1,000 Places at Distant Lands

Patricia Schultz & Her 1,000 Places at Distant Lands

The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page. —St. Augustine of Hippo Patricia Schults, author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die first heard “the siren call” of travel and discovery at the age of four. After college, she made a beeline for the first outgoing flight, […]

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” The opening sentence of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar reflects the ambivalence of her main character, a young and talented woman who’s discovering that what she wants (to be a great writer) […]

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

It’s England, late 1990s. In the beginning Kathy H., “Kath,” tells us that she is 31 years old and has been a “carer” for eleven years. She is a good carer, she boasts, and even gets to choose her “donors” sometimes. “Carer” and “donor.” It may be the 1990s, but we quickly understand this is […]

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni

Making a world of “magical things” weave into our idea of reality is a skill. Maybe even more so when this magic is woven into not our present time, but our history, as we have set ideas and an understanding of what has already been. In The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker brings to […]

Without a Net

Without a Net

Esther Bradley-DeTally has had adventures most of us will never undertake, nor would we want to. On a whim and a (literal) prayer, Esther and her husband Bill lived in Russia in the early 1990’s, for several months at a time, as missionaries of the Baha’i Faith. Bradley-DeTally’s Without a Net isn’t about the Faith, however. […]

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Thirty-something Clay Jannon’s friends have designed world-famous websites, advanced touch-screen interfaces, work at Apple, and run their own companies. Clay, on the other hand, has won an award from the San Francisco AIGA chapter for his re-designed logo for NewBagel, a unsurprisingly stillborn business started by two ex-Googlers who thought anything they touched would turn […]

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Louie started smoking at five years old, drinking at eight, stole anything edible, jumped off a moving train, greased the rails to get back at a railcar conductor, deflated a teacher’s car tires for disciplining him, rigged the bell at a local church rousing the whole area including the police and fire department, rigged a […]

Parnucklian for Chocolate

Parnucklian for Chocolate

My parents lied to me: “Nobody cares how much you weigh;” “You’re the smartest girl in your class;” “Everything’s going to be fine.” I’ll bet your parents lied to you, too, in small ways or large. But few children grow up hearing and believing the kinds of lies Josiah grows up with in B.H. James’ […]

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