Monthly Archives: August 2010

Louis Couperus, “Eline Vere”

Ever heard of Louis Couperus? Me neither. But it turns out he’s THE naturalist writer of 19th-century Holland — their answer to Flaubert, perhaps, or Tolstoy. Which makes Eline Vere the Dutch version of Madame Bovary or possibly Anna Karenina. … Continue reading

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Nancy Mitford, “Wigs on the Green”

I was recently thrilled to discover a long-lost Stella Gibbons novel, Nightingale Wood, which has just been republished by Penguin. Perhaps encouraged by that delight, I leapt on the handsome new Vintage paperback of Nancy Mitford’s long-out-of-print Wigs on the … Continue reading

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Stella Gibbons, “Nightingale Wood”

Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm was a fixture of my youth, a book everyone in the family read over and over again, though it was years before I understood it to be a satire. (Yes, sadly, I was a child … Continue reading

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Barbara Pym, “Jane and Prudence”

Barbara Pym’s novels were republished in a handsome uniform edition in the early 1980s and I bought them all. They’ve survived thirty years of bookshelf purges but I hadn’t read one again until now, and I found it really delightful. … Continue reading

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Kay Redfield Jamison, “An Unquiet Mind”

Toward the end of An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison attempts to look back on her story of a life with manic-depressive disease, and to sum up. She has already been eloquent about the damage done to herself and others … Continue reading

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Allegra Goodman, “The Cookbook Collector”

I am baffled by Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector, and I think the issue is one of expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant read, the story of two dissimilar sisters in Northern California at the turn of the … Continue reading

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Louis Sachar, “The Cardturner”

I dimly remembered liking Louis Sachar’s Holes, probably read when one of my sons was a pre-teen. Might even have seen the movie with Shia LaBeouf. And I like bridge. My mother-in-law has tried again and again to teach me … Continue reading

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