Monthly Archives: April 2009

Barry Maitland, “No Trace”

Maitland is new to me. This is another book I bought because of its cover — note to publishers of murder mysteries, bring on the moody black and white images, relevance to plot be damned. Apparently Maitland is launched on … Continue reading

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Georgette Heyer, “The Masqueraders”

OK, it’s my one true vice. Not, in point of fact, all that vicious but I still hesitated to admit that I’d read this. But the deal I made with myself was that I’d write about every book I finished, … Continue reading

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Julia Child, “My Life in France”

A minor work from the titanic Julia. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was a sacred text in my house growing up, and when my children were tiny PBS kindly ran the early French Chef TV shows at an hour … Continue reading

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Georgette Heyer, “The Unfinished Clue”

Copyright 1934, straight-up English country-house mystery. Totally predictable, very restful. Opening sentence: “It was apparent to Miss Fawcett within one minute of her arrival at the Grange that her host was not in the best of tempers.” I think we’re … Continue reading

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Sara Gruen, “Flying Changes”

Flying Changes follows Sara Gruen’s Riding Lessons, picking up with the same characters just a few months later. It exhibits pretty much the same strengths and weaknesses as the earlier book: the heroine is occasionally unbearable, the animal characters come … Continue reading

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Charles Dickens, “Little Dorrit” 3

It did not occur to me until page 751 that one of Dickens’ subjects in Little Dorrit is the very creation of narrative.  Of course in a book this big the author’s got a lot of preoccupations and I wonder … Continue reading

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Charles Dickens, “Little Dorrit,” 2

This book is a massive read: what my children might call “a beast” of a book.  But that’s one of its pleasures, I find. Lurking at the back of my mind, day in and day out, is this alternate universe, … Continue reading

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