Monthly Archives: July 2010

Colm Toibin, “Brooklyn”

I’m not entirely sure I know why Colm Toibín’s Brooklyn is not simply a shorter, quieter Maeve Binchy novel. Which would have been fine — I love Maeve Binchy. And at a glance, you can see my confusion: Eilis Lacey, … Continue reading

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Sophie Hannah, “The Dead Lie Down”

Well, Amazon may be promoting Sophie Hannah by interviewing her along with the goddess Tana French, and she may indeed be a very smart girl, but The Dead Lie Down was not my favorite mystery of the month. I know … Continue reading

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Joanna Trollope, “The Other Family”

You could say that Joanna Trollope writes the same book over and over again. (I exclude here the historical romances she writes as Caroline Harvey, which are very good of their kind.) You could complain about how they are always … Continue reading

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David Mitchell, “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet”

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet has gotten a lot of praise, but it was the fact that I could read a sample chapter on my Kindle that made me buy it. Whatever else David Mitchell’s qualities as a … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction | Tagged | 4 Comments

Books for Boys and Girls

It’s a publishing truism that women read more fiction than men, and it’s also pretty clear than certain books or categories of novels appeal more to one gender than another. I tend not to buy books about submarines, for instance, … Continue reading

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Advice for the Airborne

My worst nightmare is being stuck on a long flight without a good book. I would honestly prefer to undergo oral surgery (at least you get good meds). The problem is that I don’t concentrate that well at 35,000 feet. … Continue reading

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Tana French, “Faithful Place”

I always knew I was going to drop everything to gulp Faithful Place down in one or two sittings. That’s just the way Tana French operates on me. And on a few other people as well. I try not to … Continue reading

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Another Smart One

Apparently  I need to add Sophie Hannah to my list of mystery writers who are Smarter Than They Need to Be. And here she is on Amazon, chatting with the goddess  Tana French. This pretty much signals the end of … Continue reading

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Smarter Than They Need to Be

Tomorrow, July 13, Tana French’s Faithful Place will hit my Kindle. In honor of that event, I thought I’d list a few of one of my favorite categories of authors: mystery writers who are smarter than they need to be. … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, best seller, French, mystery | Tagged | 4 Comments

Fred Vargas, “Seeking Whom He May Devour”

Chief Inspector Adamsberg squares off — if he can be said to “square off” at all — against a werewolf in the French Alps. Continue reading

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