Category Archives: Fiction

The Echoing Grove

When I finished Rosamond Lehmann’s The Echoing Grove, I set it aside with an “ugh, glad that’s over.” It was seriously hard going for a while. “An infinite boredom seemed to be invading him,” the narrator noted late in the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 10 Comments

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke’s debut novel is a great example of why diversity in fiction can be such a pleasure. In many respects, it’s a typical thriller, with its reluctant hero, wide-ranging conspiracy, and multi-threaded plot that all comes together in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 10 Comments

The Lottery and Other Stories

There are too many people in these stories by Shirley Jackson—people who watch, people who judge, people who insinuate themselves into your life, people who leave, people who throw stones. Almost every story unearths some little bit of darkness in … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 15 Comments

The Far Side of the World

At the end of Treason’s Harbor, the ninth installment in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, Stephen Maturin sends a letter sharing his suspicions about a French spy in the upper ranks of the Royal Navy—to the actual French spy. On top … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 2 Comments

The Living

It took me a long time to read this novel by Annie Dillard, not because it isn’t good, but because the prose demands a slow reading and there’s little driving action to propel the reader forward. (It didn’t help that … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 12 Comments

Hard Times

‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 14 Comments

The Goblin Emperor

Maia woke with his cousin’s cold fingers digging into his shoulder. “Cousin? What…” He sat up, rubbing at his eyes with one hand. “What time is it?” “Get up!” Setheris snarled. “Hurry!” Obediently, Maia crawled out of bed, clumsy and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 7 Comments

Gaby, Lost and Found

One of the (approx. ten billion) things I didn’t anticipate about having kids was that their reading lives would shift so much. Of course I knew their reading level would change. But I suppose I didn’t foresee that what they … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Contemporary, Fiction | 6 Comments

Finders Keepers

This summer, Stephen King has come out with a sequel to last year’s Mr. Mercedes. That book was a solidly enjoyable thriller with nothing supernatural about it — a race against time to catch an unpleasant mass murderer. I enjoyed … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments

A God in Ruins

I love seeing one of my favorite writers get the praise she deserves, but I’m missing the old Kate Atkinson, with her dark humor and goofy narrative voices. I miss having fun reading her books. A God in Ruins, like … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 14 Comments