Monthly Archives: December 2010

Lucette Lagnado, “The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit”

I have to admit that this is my second try at The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit — a friend gave me a hardcover last year and it languished on the “to read” pile. But sometimes books come at … Continue reading

Posted in best seller, memoir | Tagged | 7 Comments

Ian McEwan, “Saturday”

Have I told you already how much I love the book exchange shelf in my laundry room? Sure, there’s a lot of James Patterson, but sometimes such finds! Last week I went down to do a load of darks and … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, best seller, contemporary fiction | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Martin Gayford, “Man with a Blue Scarf”

And to think that I almost missed this book, which is subtitled, “On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud.” I was sent it by a friend, who thought the account of intense engagement with an artist would interest me. … Continue reading

Posted in art history, memoir | Tagged | 4 Comments

Julia Spencer-Fleming, “To Darkness and to Death”

With so much anxiety during the holiday season — will Junior get home in the snow, does Aunt Tillie still like gingerbread, would hubby wear a bright green track suit and is he an XXL — it’s very soothing to … Continue reading

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E.F. Benson, “Paying Guests”

E. F. Benson is familiar to most of us as the author of the immortal Lucia novels which have been brought to our TV screens every now and then, most memorably in a mid-1980s production starring Prunella Scales. Around the … Continue reading

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Molly Keane, “Treasure Hunt”

Molly Keane’s Treasure Hunt begins with a funeral. First we see a grand, comfortable country house in Ireland called Ballyroden, dreaming in the sun, completely empty, notable for the number of champagne corks littering the gravel in front. (It’s a … Continue reading

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Sarah Dunant, “In the Company of the Courtesan”

I don’t think I’d be brave enough to write a novel in which the last 50 pages subverted the previous 325. Just think how careful you’d have to be, laying it all out beforehand, from major plot points to dialogue … Continue reading

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Julia Spencer-Fleming, “Out of the Deep I Cry”

Well, that was very satisfying. I was a little disappointed by Julia Spencer-Fleming’s A Fountain Filled with Blood, especially after the very strong start of her first book, In the Bleak Midwinter. But here she is on Book Three of her … Continue reading

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Laura Hillenbrand, “Unbroken”

There is no story without conflict. We can all agree on that. Another theory, widely accepted, is that extreme pressure reveals character, but I’m no longer sure I buy it. After having seen Louie Zamperini through 47 days afloat on … Continue reading

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Two Years, 234 Posts

Actually, I’m not counting. That’s what WordPress does for me. Their computers are also keeping track of comments, visitors, and the puzzling outbreak of spam attached to Katharine Davis’ A Slender Thread. (Very energetic. In Cyrillic, no less. I can’t … Continue reading

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