Summer begins with a stack of books

I haven’t taught a class since the last part of April, but it still hasn’t felt like summer. Something was missing. It wasn’t the hot weather; we’ve had plenty of that. It wasn’t the absence of a graduation ceremony; those have been happening all … [Read more...]

Book Preview: Eleanor and Park

I love this book, and what a relief it is to be able to say that again. I’ve been in something of reading drought, and this book was like a little oasis. I love this book for the title (it sounds like an intersection, as in “Meet me at the corner … [Read more...]

Top Fiction Books of 2012

My 2012 fiction reading year started off strong. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that my good reading year of 2011 carried over a bit. For the first 3-4 months I was tearing through books, on track to do better than the 120 books I read last … [Read more...]

Why I’m reading Great Expectations

- Mostly because the only other Dickens I’ve ever read was A Tale of Two Cities in high school, and that just doesn’t seem right. - Because not having read Great Expectations constitutes a serious gap in one’s cultural literacy. I know that Pip … [Read more...]

Book Review: Morningside Heights

It’s been a while, but today, a real honest to goodness book review.  My friend recommended and loaned me this novel by Cheryl Mendelson, set in, not surprisingly, Morningside Heights, a neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side close to Columbia … [Read more...]

Mystery Book Review: Still Life

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump in the month of September so far, so thank goodness for my friend recommending Louise Penny to me.  I just finished the first in her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, Still Life.These mysteries take place in … [Read more...]

Supernatural Book Review: The Monstrumologist and Two Sarah Waters’ Novels

I’ve been on something of a supernatural reading kick lately.  It started with The Curse of the Wendigo, the second book in Rick Yancey’s Monstrumologist Series, progressed to the second book in the All Souls Trilogy, Shadow of Night, and then … [Read more...]

Imagining a different kind of vampire story and a review of Shadow of Night

Finally, a book review.  Kind of.  I just finished the second novel in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, Shadow of Night.  This is the sequel to A Discovery of Witches, which I have to confess, I could not actually finish.  But my friend brought … [Read more...]

Telegraph Avenue Read Along: The big finale…

...kind of.  Finale, yes.  Big, I don’t know.I first of all want to thank Emily at As the Crowe Flies (And Reads!) for organizing this spectacular read-along and sending us all advance copies of this wonderful novel.  You have one month still left to … [Read more...]

The terror of intimacy and a review of Gone Girl

I derive a perverse pleasure from reading about bad marriages.  Or maybe there’s nothing perverse about it.  Maybe I feel the compulsive need to conduct in-depth autopsies of what went wrong in other people’s relationships so as not to repeat their … [Read more...]