Monthly Archives: February 2011

Monica Dickens, “Mariana”

When I started blogging a couple of years ago I had a vague resolution that I would review books naively. I wouldn’t read reviews, or even the introductions to books — I would just read the texts themselves and figure … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, classic | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Persephone Reading Weekend

We’ve done our New York Review Books.  We’ve done our Viragos. What’s left for book bloggers eager for artfully packaged paperback editions of mostly-forgotten writers? (Arguably the wonderful Melville House Classic Novella series — maybe a good idea for a … Continue reading

Posted in classic | 4 Comments

What Your Books Do at Night

Many of you have referred to Susan Hill’s Howards End Is on the Landing: have you ever wondered how it got there?

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sarah Waters, “Fingersmith”

“‘If you might only hear yourself! Terrible plots? Laughing villains? Stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad? The stuff of lurid fiction! We have a name for your disease. We call it a hyper-aesthetic one. You have been … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary fiction, historical fiction, Victoriana | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Julia Spencer-Fleming, “All Mortal Flesh”

I love Extra-Strength Excedrin. Is there even a regular strength? Somehow I think not, but I am always reassured by the idea that the pills in the green bottle are going to work extra hard to get rid of that … Continue reading

Posted in mystery | Tagged | 9 Comments

David Lodge, “The British Museum is Falling Down”

Well, I’m pretty late arriving at this particular party. Guys, why didn’t you tell me? Now that I think of it, people have been suggesting for ages that I read David Lodge, but it wasn’t until The British Museum is … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, classic, funny | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Thomas Mann, “Death in Venice”

There’s a great deal to be said for discovering classics at a mature age. Many of my university classmates (among them my husband) read Death in Venice for a seminar on European literature freshman year, and some of them will, … Continue reading

Posted in classic, German | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Iain Pears, “Stone’s Fall”

I guess for me, the term “financial thriller” is an oxymoron. There’s a lot to admire about Iain Pears’ Stone’s Fall. And, considering the legion of fans Pears has accumulated in his career, there must be a lot to enjoy, … Continue reading

Posted in historical fiction | Tagged | 12 Comments

F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Tender Is the Night”

Naturally after reading Calvin Tomkins‘ Living Well Is the Best Revenge I would turn to the battered Scribner Classic paperback of Tender Is the Night that’s been on my bookshelf apparently since 1972. (Juvenile marginalia — so difficult to live … Continue reading

Posted in classic | Tagged | 10 Comments

Calvin Tomkins, “Living Well Is the Best Revenge”

Living Well Is the Best Revenge was  widely read in my parents’ social circles when it was first published as a book in the early 1970s, so when it turned up on the magical laundry room shelves of course I … Continue reading

Posted in art history | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments