Author Archives: Jenny

This House of Sky

Ivan Doig’s memoir about his childhood and adolescence in rural Montana, This House of Sky, is an interestingly angular book, all joints and rough skin and knobby knees. This comes from the two driving forces of the book smashing together: … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 9 Comments

The Force of Spirit

A few years ago, I read Staying Put, a collection of personal essays by Scott Russell Sanders. That collection had a sense of coherence around the same theme: what does it mean, to a geological place, and also to the … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments

Pomfret Towers

This is the fifth in Angela Thirkell’s delightful series of Barsetshire novels, and it is just as much of a delicious petit four as the rest of them so far. In this one, Alice Barton, a painfully-shy young woman who dabbles … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 13 Comments

Fools Crow

Fools Crow is a deeply engaging historical novel by James Welch, following the lives of the Pikuni (Blackfeet) in the early 1870s in Montana. The main character is a young man named White Man’s Dog, but after a few brave and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

The Dinner

Two sets of parents have decided to meet at a high-end restaurant in Amsterdam in order to discuss a terrible crime committed by their children, and what their next steps should be: Serge and Babette; Paul and Claire. This, at … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 12 Comments

Unexplained Laughter

I’ve read several of Alice Thomas Ellis’s books now, and I always leave them thinking how good they are, but also how unsettling. Her books are comedies of manners, but they are also severe considerations of morals and conscience, through … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments

A Fix Like This

I’m slowly reading through the mysteries of K.C. Constantine, an author I stumbled across because his most recent (possibly last?) mystery, Grievance (2000), was recommended by Michael Dirda. I started at the beginning of the series, and was surprised at … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 2 Comments

Elementals: Stories of Ice and Fire

This book of short stories by A.S. Byatt has been on my TBR list for almost six years. Byatt is a favorite author of mine, and I’ve read most of her novels and short stories now. But each time I … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde is an author I’ve been meaning to read for years. Of course, I know a lot about his work just because I’m culturally literate, but I’ve never actually read anything he’s written, with the exception of “The Ballad … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Mountains of the Mind

For years, I’ve been a lover of the literature of exploration. I’ve read many books in which men (and some women, but mostly men) hurl themselves at intemperate climates and impossible peaks. In Mountains of the Mind, Robert Macfarlane goes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | Leave a comment