Author Archives: Jenny

Blood Meridian

I was astonished to learn recently that there are people who think Cormac McCarthy is an extremely realistic author, someone whose novels are “marked by intense natural observation.” While I suppose you could make an argument that the whole atmosphere … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 9 Comments

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is the first book Nabokov wrote in English. It’s not quite the leaping, dazzling style of Lolita or Pale Fire — it is a little more brittle and fragile than that — but it … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments


Tigerman, the third book I’ve read by Nick Harkaway (after The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker), sneaks up on you a bit. The dynamite opening sentence (“On the steps of the old mission house, the sergeant sat with the boy who … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments


I read Marilynne Robinson’s novel Lila way back in January, and have been letting my thoughts about it simmer. It is without a doubt one of the best novels I’ve read in years, and it touched me very deeply. How … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 5 Comments

The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month is the third I’ve read of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series, set in the small village of Three Pines near Montreal. In this book, set on Easter weekend, a psychic happens to be visiting the village on … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 15 Comments

In Persuasion Nation

I wrote about George Saunders’s stories in Tenth of December about a year and a half ago. It surprises me to find that it was so long ago, because those stories have remained vivid in my mind as some of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 2 Comments

Piège pour Cendrillon (Trap for Cinderella)

Sébastien Japrisot is the name under which Jean-Baptiste Rossi wrote his marvelous, twisty, cunning crime novels. (It is interesting to see that his biographers and critics often write about his early novels as “literature,” as opposed to his crime novels. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 9 Comments

The Darkest Jungle

In Todd Balf’s book The Darkest Jungle, he explains that by 1854, after the spectacular and expensive failure of the Franklin expedition, the search for the Northwest Passage was sliding off the front pages. The new great hope was Panama. … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 4 Comments

Elizabeth Goudge Reading Week: The Middle Window

I have been a lover of Elizabeth Goudge’s novels since I encountered them in England at about the age of twelve. I have written reviews of eleven of her novels on my blog, most of them works I’ve read again … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 11 Comments

Can You Forgive Her?

Teresa and I have decided to read all the Palliser novels together — our own little Trollope book club. (That is even more fun than it sounds.) I’ve read all the Barsetshire novels, and Can You Forgive Her?, the first … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 11 Comments