Author Archives: Jenny

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


The Goose Girl is a character from Grimm, of course, and she’s unfortunate (also of course.) She’s a princess riding her talking horse on her way to meet her prince when her maid forces her to switch places and threatens … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 11 Comments

The Broken Kingdoms

This novel takes place about ten years after the end of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, after Bright Itempas’s exile and the growth of the World Tree. It opens with a new character: Oree Shoth, a blind street artist who despite … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

The Old Curiosity Shop

Almost fifteen years ago, I started to read The Old Curiosity Shop. For some reason, I didn’t get on with it, and I never finished reading it. What a mistake! This time, I’ve finished it, and while it will never … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 10 Comments

An Old School Tie

I started reading Andrew Taylor’s mysteries about William Dougal a few years ago, when I stumbled across the first of them: Caroline Minuscule. Dougal begins as a cynical, amoral, and cowardly graduate student, working in medieval studies in a sort … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 3 Comments

Ancillary Justice

Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice is a space opera set thousands of years in the future, when the ruling power in the galaxy is the expansionist Radch Empire (motto: “Justice, Propriety, and Benefit.”) The empire (which, like Rome, adopts other planets’ … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 13 Comments