Author Archives: Jenny

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 | 1 Comment

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 | 8 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 | 2 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 | 4 Comments

All the Light We Cannot See

So, I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but almost every single person I know recommended this book to me. It’s about France! It’s about books! It’s a prize-winner! No-brainer that Jenny is going to love it! Colleagues, friends, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 25 Comments

Let Me Tell You

There have now been three collections of Shirley Jackson’s short work published since her death in 1965: Come Along With Me — short stories, lectures, and part of an unfinished novel edited by her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman; Just an Ordinary … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 10 Comments

Single, Carefree, Mellow

I first read about Katherine Heiny’s Single, Carefree, Mellow, on Swistle’s blog. Swistle made me curious: so many people don’t enjoy short stories, and (or) don’t like reading about affairs, but here is a book of short stories, almost all … Continue reading

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

The Arrival

The Arrival is a wordless graphic novel by Shaun Tan, an Australian author. Its images are sepia-toned, as if they come from an old photo album. It begins with a man saying goodbye to his wife and children: he is … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels / Comics | 4 Comments


A couple of months ago, I reviewed David Foster Wallace’s book of essays, Consider the Lobster. I read that book with increasing pleasure (and perhaps a tinge of surprise), and in the end was really blown pretty much flat by … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments

Bookish Films Roundup

I was in bed sick last week, and I watched a lot of movies while I was down. As it happens, almost every film I watched was based on a book. I thought I’d give you a few of my … Continue reading

Posted in Bookish films | 21 Comments