Disobedience by Naomi Alderman

I didn’t really like Naomi Alderman’s novel, Disobedience. I found it kind of annoying.  But it has stayed with me for some time, near the surface, too.  Maybe I don’t like it because it hits oddly close to home. The characters bothered me.  I believed in them; I just wanted to smack some sense into them. The books main character is an adult woman, travelling … Continue reading Disobedience by Naomi Alderman

New York City Book Buying Total Reaches Seven!

So I am  at seven books for seven days, as planned. Today, we made the obligatory visit to The Strand Bookstore, which you really must see if you visit New York and you love books.  The advertize 18 miles of books, which is probably true. Four stories of books, mostly new titles at a slightly reduced price with some used titles at a slight additional … Continue reading New York City Book Buying Total Reaches Seven!

Announcing The First, and Probably Only, Jane Austen Read All A-long

A few weeks ago I asked if anyone would be interested in reading all six of Jane Austen’s novels as a sort of read-a-long.  I’ve been thinking about doing this for a few months, collecting paperback editions of all six novels. Since I stick to used paperbacks and insist on editions with cool covers, it’s taken a few months to come up with all six, … Continue reading Announcing The First, and Probably Only, Jane Austen Read All A-long

Animal Farm by George Orwell

I’m going to assume you have read this book. Probably in high school. Even if your English teacher was not the best teacher you ever had, you probably got most of what there is to get in Animal Farm.  It’s a straightforward book;  Mr. Orwell makes sure that everyone understands  his point.  While the communist revolution may have started well, may have even brought peace, … Continue reading Animal Farm by George Orwell

A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland

If you’re a reader but not an English major, or just anyone who’d like to fill in the holes in your knowledge of the subject, you could do worse than John Sutherland’s A Little History of Literature.  Divided into 40 short chapters, Mr. Sutherland’s book covers all the greatest hits from Beowulf to Borges and most of the main topics covered in graduate schools from What … Continue reading A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland

High Dive by Jonathan Lee

This marks the end of my Tournament of Books 2017 reading. It’s been fun. Really. I read a good-sized handful of books from the short list, enjoyed most of them, admired a few, didn’t finish one. I’ve even come away with a few titles sure to make my personal short list of favorite reads for this year. But I’m moving on to other titles now. … Continue reading High Dive by Jonathan Lee

Red Joan by Jennie Rooney

As a reader, I’m kind of a sucker. It’s easy to take me by surprise. I didn’t see any of it coming in Gone Girl. Life of Pi  came to me from far out in left field.  And I admit it, it never even occurred to me that he would sell his precious pocket watch to buy his wife a beautiful hair pin. My jaw has hit the floor … Continue reading Red Joan by Jennie Rooney

His Blody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet brings multiple voices to life in his historical crime thriller His Bloody Project. Give credit where it is due. I was very impressed by how well he evokes various types of writing and by how well they work together. The novel opens with a first person account, written by the accused, a 17-year-old farmer, or crofter, accused of multiple homicide.  Just how did young … Continue reading His Blody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

A young man’s wife dies, killed in an accident, leaving him alone with two very young sons and their grief which takes the form of a giant black crow. Max Porter’s new novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers is hard to pin down.  I liked it.  I admired it. I found it has much to say about grief, judging from my own experience with it. … Continue reading Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

This was at least the third time I’ve read The Mayor of Casterbridge. Could be the fourth.  I was a big Thomas Hardy fan back in college.  For years I’ve been haunted by that final image of the dead songbird in the cage sitting on the back door steps of the newlywed’s home.  Forgotten and forsaken, like the bride’s father. Not quite how it happened, it … Continue reading The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan and The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling

It’s just happenstance.  Pure random phenomena that led me to read Karan Mahajan’s highly praised novel The Association of Small Bombs right after reading Rudyard Kipling’s classic novella The Man Who Would Be King.  I didn’t mean to do it.  I didn’t even know Mr. Mahajan’s novel took place in India. I did know about Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King from the very entertaining John Huston film … Continue reading The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan and The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling

Tournament of Short Stories: Bret Harte vs. D.H. Lawrence and Leo Tolstoy

This little tournament has force me to read the volume of Bret Harte’s Gold Rush era short fiction C.J. and I bought a few years back while visiting Nevada City, California.  I’ve enjoyed them.  They are old-fashioned stories.  Mr. Harte does have fine characters but the plot is really where it’s at with his work.  I’ve enjoyed them all and I enjoyed the two I … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories: Bret Harte vs. D.H. Lawrence and Leo Tolstoy