Author Archives: Jenny

The People in the Trees

Teresa had me read Hanya Yanagihara’s novel The People in the Trees for this year’s book swap. It’s a fascinating, complex novel about one of the most repellent narrators I’ve seen in years, and I was drawn in — as … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 17 Comments

The Sagas of Icelanders

For several years now, I’ve adopted a practice of trying to read a major classic during the summer, when I (theoretically) have more time and brain-space for it. This year, I read The Sagas of Icelanders, the collection that Penguin … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Nonfiction | 13 Comments

The Coroner’s Lunch

Dr. Siri Paiboun shouldn’t really be a coroner. He’s served most of his life as a doctor for the Laotian people, and now, at the age of 72, he thought he’d be able to take a peaceful, if not ideal, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 6 Comments

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

I had mixed feelings about Monique Roffey’s novel The White Woman on the Green Bicycle. It spans about fifty years, and tells the political history of Trinidad through the ups and downs of the relationship between a white expatriate couple, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

The Castle of Crossed Destinies

A little while ago, I took part in the summer re-reading of John Crowley’s Little, Big. One of the things I said about it was that it is a story made of stories: children’s books, myths, fairy stories, Shakespeare, George … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 14 Comments

Faithful Place

I read Tana French’s first novel of Dublin’s Murder Squad, In the Woods, two years ago. Her novels aren’t a series, but they’re linked: a character from In the Woods, Cassie Maddox, is the point-of-view character in her second novel, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 17 Comments

Funeral Music

I picked up the first two of Morag Joss’s award-winning Sara Selkirk series — Funeral Music and Fearful Symmetry — at a book sale in the spring, mostly because I like the name Morag, and also because it was appealing … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 4 Comments

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains

This book, perhaps Isabella Bird’s most famous, is actually her fourth. By the time she wrote it in 1879, she had already travelled from her native England to Australia, to Hawaii, 800 miles on horseback through the Colorado Rockies, and … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 14 Comments

The Accidental

The title of Ali Smith’s The Accidental lets us in on what she’s doing. The plot is not a new one: a stranger breaks in on a dysfunctional family, works her mysterious magic, and leaves them completely different. You’ll have … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

The Sisters Brothers

It’s a little difficult to pin down Patrick DeWitt’s novel The Sisters Brothers. It’s definitely got elements of the picaresque. It’s a Western, certainly, but not of the Zane Grey variety (nor of the Cormac McCarthy variety, if that’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 7 Comments