Monthly Archives: October 2010

Elinor Lipman, “Isabel’s Bed”

I must have read Isabel’s Bed four times. I remember that it was my introduction to Elinor Lipman and I think it remains my favorite of her books, but I hadn’t read it in a while. Having done so, I … Continue reading

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Julia Spencer-Fleming, “In the Bleak Midwinter”

So at choir practice the other night I was talking to a friend about sublimation. Really. The soprano section was discussing Dorothy Sayers, and the moment in Gaudy Night when Harriet Vane, fiiiinally after soooo long, looks at the sleeping … Continue reading

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Christobel Kent, “A Fine and Private Place”

Apparently the late Magdalen Nabb was not the only Englishwoman who wrote murder mysteries set in Florence. Her Death of an Englishman, I find, was first published in 1981, so I suppose it’s not surprising that Christobel Kent should now … Continue reading

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Henry James, “The Coxon Fund”

Since Henry James’ “The Coxon Fund” is a novella rather than a full-blown novel, this post may be a cheat. On the other hand,the long tale is bound and sold independently as part of the “Art of the Novella” series … Continue reading

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Laurence Cosse, “A Novel Bookstore”

I wonder if Europa Editions chose to publish Laurence Cossé’s A Novel Bookstore based on the success of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. It almost has to have been so. (Same translator, anyway.)  And by the same token, … Continue reading

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Lee Child, “Worth Dying For”

“He had never taken aspirin and wasn’t about to start. He had been banged up in the hospital a couple of times, with IV morphine drips in his arms and he remembered that experience quite fondly. But outside of the … Continue reading

Posted in best seller, thriller | Tagged | 4 Comments

Deborah Devonshire, “Home to Roost”

This little volume is the book that put Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire ahead of her late sister Jessica Mitford in the tally of books published. (Debo: 12. Decca: 11. And Debo’s got another one coming out in November 2010.) Not … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, memoir | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Katherine Pancol, “La Valse lente des tortues” or “The Slow Waltz of the Tortoises”

The thing about chick-lit is, sometimes it’s trashy. And sometimes you don’t respect yourself in the morning for having devoted umpteen hours to find out if Joséphine will really get together with Philippe, and if so, how they will get … Continue reading

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NYRB Reading Challenge (Nov. 7-13)

One of the endearing characteristics of the book-blog world is its chumminess. Maybe readers feel embattled, or maybe they are just good communicators and enjoy building networks. Possibly this is a blogger thing rather than a bookish thing, but the … Continue reading

Posted in classic | 10 Comments


Sorry. I never get puns so when one comes to me I get all excited. Reading Sarah Dunant’s crackerjack Sacred Hearts got me thinking about the nun novel as its own special genre. I mentioned in that post the appeal … Continue reading

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