Author Archives: Jenny

Terrible, Horrible Edie

This book is the third in E.C. Spykman’s astonishingly good series of books about the Cares family. The first two (A Lemon and a Star and The Wild Angel) were so good I was absolutely indignant that I’d never heard of … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction | Leave a comment

Girl Meets Boy

I am generally a complete sucker for retellings of myths and fairy tales. I like them even when they’re not very good — I love watching what bits people leave out, and what bits they add, and what they think … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments

A Teeny Tiny Review of Little Face by Sophie Hannah

Baby is swapped and the grandma’s a loser, Mother is mad and the dad’s an abuser, Who can be pulling these marionette strings? These are a few of the Little Face things.   Dysfunction rules though the baby is tiny, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 15 Comments

The Feast of the Goat

When Herod the King heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Matthew 2:3) The dictator novel is a Latin American genre that examines the role of a dictator, or caudillo (political strongman.) This can be a historical … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 4 Comments

Still Life

My friend Laura has been recommending Louise Penny’s series of mysteries to me for some time. She thought I’d enjoy them for a variety of reasons — the writing, the thoughtfulness, and even the lovely setting near Montreal. When I … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 18 Comments

Beijing Bastard

Val Wang’s parents came to the United States from China when they were young adults with a spirit of adventure. Still, they wanted to give their daughter a sense of her heritage, so they sent her to Chinese school, taught … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | Tagged | 8 Comments

The Home-Maker

In The Home-Maker, Dorothy Canfield Fisher presents the story of a family in which traditionally assigned roles are causing everyday suffering. Eva, the mother, feels suffocated: the circumscribed role of homemaker isn’t enough for her passionate spirit, invention, energy, and … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 12 Comments

Telegraph Avenue

Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue is about a lot of things. It’s about a particular neighborhood — Brokeland, right on the line between Berkeley and Oakland, with all its ethnic and religious and economic and sexual and historical diversity, and everything … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 9 Comments

Tooth and Claw

Teresa asked me to read Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw — essentially a Victorian novel in which all the characters are dragons — in this year’s book swap, after she read it herself in 2013. Her review of it sums it … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

Texts From Jane Eyre

oh my god         what this guy this publisher guy is asking me about my favorite canto in Childe Harold that’s like asking someone to pick who’s hotter his half-sister or his cousins it’s literally impossible Mallory … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | Tagged | 14 Comments