Author Archives: Jenny


Every time I read a blurb about one of China Miéville’s books, I think, “Oh, that sounds wonderful — he sounds like an author who’s right up my alley.” And I have friends, too, who love him and all his … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 14 Comments

Life and Fate

I recently spent three weeks in France with students (it was wonderful, thank you!) Normally when I go on this trip, I bring a large variety of books on my Kindle, so I’ll have something to read for any occasion. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 3 Comments

My Year of Meats

In 2015, Ruth Ozeki’s Booker Prize-listed novel A Tale for the Time Being was one of Teresa’s books of the year. Since I trust Teresa’s taste absolutely, and since I’d heard lots of other good things about Ozeki as well, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 14 Comments

Interior Darkness

I haven’t read any Peter Straub for a long time. His Magic Terror left me cold, and when I followed that too closely by Houses Without Doors, I gave up on him altogether (but not without a loud complaint.) Still, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 4 Comments

Crazy Brave

Joy Harjo is a Native American (Creek) poet and musician. I’ve encountered her poetry in a couple of different contexts, and it’s always tough and interesting, so I wasn’t surprised when her 2012 memoir, Crazy Brave, was not your usual … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 2 Comments

The Old Ways

I recently reviewed Robert Macfarlane’s book, Mountains of the Mind, which is part personal essay and part cultural history. It asks a number of questions about mountains: What is it about mountains that draws us? How do mountains shape us? … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 9 Comments

Broken Harbor

This is the fourth of Tana French’s loosely-linked mysteries that I’ve read, and I have to say that I’ve enjoyed each of them more than the last. Broken Harbor is no exception. In it, French explores love, mental illness, the … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries | 7 Comments

Dreaming Spies

I’m not sure how I managed to miss this, the thirteenth novel in Laurie King’s series of Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes novels, when it came out in 2015. I’ve been reading them since the very beginning, and normally I leap … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | Leave a comment

A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

Amelia Edwards went to Egypt in the winter of 1873-74. She was already known for her novels and for a much-anthologized story called “The Phantom Coach,” and she intended to write about this trip. But what she saw changed her … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 11 Comments

Station Eleven

Over the past twenty years or so, I’ve read a fair bit of dystopian fiction, starting with Stephen King’s The Stand (one of my very favorites of his novels.) Authors of dystopias are often doing what King calls “dancing on … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 17 Comments