Author Archives: Jenny


This 19th-century novel by Ivan Goncharov spends its first hundred and fifty pages establishing its main character, Oblomov. Who is this man, and why is he the way he is? It seemed to me at first an excruciatingly slow way … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 14 Comments

Tales of Burning Love

Over the past few years, I’ve been slowly reading Louise Erdrich’s novels, beginning with the first and going chronologically. Most of her books take place in and around the same town, Argus, North Dakota, and its nearby reservation. Her characters … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 5 Comments

To the Is-Land

The first volume of Janet Frame’s autobiography begins with a chapter called In the Second Place: From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 2 Comments


I’ve read several of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels, and thought all of them were quite spectacularly good (North and South, Wives and Daughters, Cranford.) So I was expecting a pleasure when I picked up Ruth, her second novel. Was I ever … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 7 Comments

To Be or Not To Be

So take the following: Choose Your Own Adventure, Shakespeare, illustrations, humor. Which belong together? In Ryan North’s book To Be or Not To Be, a choosable-path adventure based on Hamlet, you can have all of the above! At the beginning … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Drama, Graphic Novels / Comics | 4 Comments

The Turn of the Screw

Lately, my husband has been reading The Ambassadors by Henry James. I haven’t read James almost at all (The Golden Bowl, but many years ago) and I thought I would renew my acquaintance with his most famous ghost story, The … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 13 Comments

The Fireman

In January, Teresa published a review of Joe Hill’s latest book, The Fireman. I had already been planning to read it, since I’ve read and enjoyed most of what he’s written, but her review made me really excited about it. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 9 Comments

The Inquisitor’s Tale

This summer, I decided to have a book club with my kids. I have a 12-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son, so I decided to make separate lists for each of them. Then, during the summer, we would take turns: … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction | 4 Comments

The Shadow Speaker

I have read dozens of fantasy novels for young adults and children (and even a few for adults!) Where are they set? Sometimes in a Europe-like world that isn’t our own; sometimes in England; sometimes in the US. I can’t … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Emily Books

When I was a kid, I adored Anne of Green Gables. I read those books over and over again, especially the first three. I loved Anne’s warmth, her spunk, her sense of humor, her big vocabulary, her love of reading … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments