Author Archives: Jenny

The Way We Live Now (part 2)

My first post on The Way We Live Now was about possessions, in the broadest possible sense. Trollope examines, and satirizes, the way we live now (and indeed the way we live now is not very different) as a time … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 2 Comments

The Way We Live Now (part 1)

If I told you I’d just read a brawling, sprawling, money-grubbing, dog-eat-dog indictment of society’s financial and moral systems, what would you think I was talking about? If you said, “Something by Christopher Reich or Scott Turow,” you’re in the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 12 Comments

Louisa May Alcott

I’ve posted here before that the book I’ve re-read most in my life is probably Little Women. I started reading it when I was about ten or eleven, and I’ve read it over and over since then, understanding it differently … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Nonfiction | 20 Comments

The Ringed Castle

The last scene of Pawn in Frankincense left us standing, bereft, as Francis Crawford of Lymond and Sevigny left his friends, his opium habit, his country, his son, and his virgin wife. He left unexpectedly, for parts unknown, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

Necessary Dreams

I was about to say that I’ve been quiet around here lately, but that just isn’t the case — I’ve been totally silent for over a month. I can’t remember a busier time at school. And it’s meant not only … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Mr. Fox

Helen Oyeyemi’s novel Mr. Fox revolves around three characters and the set of narratives that inform them. St. John Fox is an author of slasher tales: the women in his stories always die, usually gruesomely. Mary Foxe is his assistant, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 3 Comments

The Silent Wife

Teresa and I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl at almost exactly this time last year, and we both liked it a lot. I happened to see someone’s very brief review of A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife, saying essentially that she’d … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries | 9 Comments

How to Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted! I’ve been teaching January Term at my university, and it’s an intense class: three hours a day every day, plus all the concomitant prepping and grading, plus I’m still department … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | 10 Comments


In general, I am a bit suspicious of the cottage industry that has sprung up around Jane Austen. I don’t usually read books that are “sequels” or “spinoffs” of classic literature (with some major exceptions!), and I think Jane Austen … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 15 Comments

King, Queen, Knave

I started 2013 by reading Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor, which is by some way his longest novel. I loved it, but it was also the most dense and impenetrable one I’ve read so far, dizzyingly stuffed with references that flew (like … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments