Monthly Archives: March 2011

Henry Green, “Loving”

Henry Green’s Loving is the first of the short novels in the handsome Penguin volume that recently turned up at my door. I’m referring you again to the useful Sebastian Faulks piece from 2005 for background; this is where I … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, classic | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Daisy Goodwin, “The American Heiress”/”My Last Duchess”

The late-19th-century cultural phenomenon of American heiresses marrying into the English aristocracy has attracted literary attention from the moment it began: Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady was published in 1880, a mere six years after the foundational match between … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, contemporary fiction, historical fiction | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Henry Green, “Living”

Two days ago a mysterious unbidden package from Amazon arrived at my apartment, containing Penguin’s extremely handsome edition of three short Henry Green novels, Loving, Living, and Party Going. The giver had sent it to me on the strength of … Continue reading

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Sarah Bakewell, “How to Live”

With Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live, I have strayed pretty far from my comfort zone. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction and I rarely wander beyond the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But I was attracted by a friend’s recommendation, … Continue reading

Posted in biography | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Julia Spencer-Fleming, “I Shall Not Want”

Uh-oh. I’m getting to the end of the series. You know the feeling: There’s only one left?  And it’s not coming out for a month? That’s where I am with Julia Spencer-Fleming. I read faster than she writes. On the … Continue reading

Posted in mystery | Tagged | 4 Comments

Kate O’Brien, “The Land of Spices”

This is where the world of book bloggers is so satisfying. You read, say, Antonia White’s Frost in May and allude to the sub-genre of nun fiction. Your delightful bookish friends follow up by recommending other nun novels, including Kate … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Taylor, “A Game of Hide and Seek”

I read Elizabeth Taylor’s Palladian back in January as part of the highly enjoyable Virago Reading Week. As if it weren’t enough fun to read splendid books and read other people’s reviews of them, Rachel of Book Snob and Carolyn of A … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, classic | Tagged | 8 Comments

Colette, “The Last of Cheri”

For a francophile I’ve come quite late to Colette, but, yes, that is the fervor of the convert you glimpse in my enthusiasm. When she is good, she is so wonderful, and when she is lazy she’s still pretty entertaining. … Continue reading

Posted in classic, French | Tagged | 5 Comments

Jane Haddam, “Cheating at Solitaire”

I just put this book down and I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s called Cheating at Solitaire. I don’t remember a single character so much as picking up a deck of cards. Possibly the title … Continue reading

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Theodor Fontane, “Irretrievable”

Isn’t that a terrific title for a novel about a marriage going bad? Especially, I think, for a novel published in 1891, when I would have expected something wordier. The German is Unwiederbringlich which, if you break down the German … Continue reading

Posted in classic, German | Tagged , | 7 Comments