Author Archives: Jenny

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

“What sorts of things do you read?” people ask me, when they find out that reading is almost my only hobby. “Almost anything,” I tell them. “All sorts. Horror, romance, literary fiction, mysteries, religion, biography, history, psychology, science writing. Well … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion | 15 Comments

Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief

This semester, I’m teaching a class on French crime fiction. Although the genre started in France roughly when British and American crime fiction did (which is to say around the middle of the 19th century), I’m staying inside the 20th century, mostly … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 12 Comments

The World Beneath

Twenty-five years ago, Sandy and Rich met as part of “the Blockade,” an environmental protest against the damming of Tasmania’s Franklin River. It worked: the government called off the construction, and Sandy and Rich’s relationship got a lift in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments


Seabiscuit was the biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, getting more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But no one would have been able to predict it. He had short, crooked legs, a “sad tail,” and a pedigree that … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 19 Comments

A Fatal Grace

I mentioned right around Thanksgiving that I’d read the first in Louise Penny’s series of mysteries about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, and the village of Three Pines in Quebec. That it took me only two months to read the next … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 2 Comments

From Heaven Lake

Vikram Seth is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all of his novels, even the one written in verse (and am looking forward to A Suitable Girl, coming out in 2016, ya-hey!) I’ve read his biography of his great-aunt … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 1 Comment

The Family From One End Street

My husband and I take turns reading aloud to our kids (now ages 9 and 7) in the evenings. One of us will choose a book and read through it chapter by chapter, while the other does the dishes; when … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Classics, Fiction | 13 Comments

August Folly

I read Angela Thirkell’s second book, Wild Strawberries, in September of 2012. I was totally charmed, and vowed in my review that I wouldn’t let an entire year pass before reading August Folly. Famous last words! Two and a half … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 16 Comments

The Glass Castle

Just recently, I read a post by Swistle, one of my favorite bloggers, who was giving her opinion of the film Boyhood. One of the things she said is that the movie made her very uncomfortable in several different ways. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 16 Comments

The Wilder Life

Wendy McClure knows the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder — something she calls Laura World — almost by heart. She (like a lot of us, maybe) remembers places she’s never been: the Big Woods of Wisconsin, the little … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Memoir, Nonfiction | 23 Comments