Monthly Archives: January 2013

Maria Semple, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”

Here’s what this book had against it from the start: it’s about a crazy mom. She spends a lot of time railing about bourgeois Seattle, not one of my more urgent interests.  And — potentially fatal — the narrative is … Continue reading

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Steven Sherrill, “The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break”

And now for something completely different…  from whatever you last read. Because how many novels are there that feature, as the protagonist, a minotaur? And set him down in small-town North Carolina, as a line cook in a steak restaurant? … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary fiction | Tagged | 7 Comments

John Le Carre, “A Murder of Quality”

Actually, I already possessed this little book but found an upgrade on the magic laundry room shelves… and it fitted so nicely into my purse, with a subway ride ahead of me…. Yeah. The truth is that I just wanted … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, mystery | Tagged | 3 Comments

Pierre Assouline, “Le Portrait”

It’s not easy to buy me books, but Beloved Husband outdid himself this Christmas. And say what we will about the state of the book market, it’s pretty cool that he could find a French paperback published in 2007 and … Continue reading

Posted in art history, French | 8 Comments

Susan Hill, “A Question of Identity”

Why is Susan Hill not yet a household name in the U.S.? She is as good a writer, as reliably satisfying and interesting, as her peers Elizabeth George, Deborah Crombie, Ruth Rendell (though admittedly not as weird as the last). … Continue reading

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

Will Schwalbe, “The End of Your Life Book Club”

I’m cheating here. Normally I don’t blog about a book unless I finish it, and my bookmark is stuck on page 292 of 326 in The End of Your Life Book Club. I just couldn’t face the chapter entitled “My … Continue reading

Posted in memoir, nonfiction | Tagged | 5 Comments