Category Archives: Fiction

The Overstory

This book by Richard Powers took me by surprise. He’s an author I’ve been meaning to read for years, and although I wasn’t sure The Overstory was really the kind of book I’d like, I saw enough praise for it that … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 7 Comments


The second of Maggie Stiefvater’s faerie books focuses on my favorite character from Lament, James. In Lament, James was the best friend of Deirdre, the harp player who finds that faeries are drawn to her. In the sequel, James and Dee have started their … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction | Leave a comment

The Caravaners

Baron Otto Von Ottridge, the narrator of this 1909 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, sees himself as a source of great wisdom and humor, the most interesting person at any gathering. And so, he assumes that he will have no … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 8 Comments

In the Woods

I’ve been slow to read Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad books, not because I didn’t think I’d enjoy them but because I really didn’t want a new series to read. But since I’ve finished the Patrick O’Brian books, that’s less … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 15 Comments


Deirdre Monaghan is sick with nerves before a harp competition when she meets Luke Dillon. He calms her down, accompanies her on the flute in an impromptu warm-up, and then pushes her toward the best performance of her life. She … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | Leave a comment

To Fear a Painted Devil

This 1965 Ruth Rendell novel is more of a whodunit than I’m used to from her. It’s set in a neighborhood called Linchester, built on the site of what was once a large manor house and park. The families that … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 2 Comments


A few years ago, Stoner, a 1965 novel by John Williams, took the book world by storm. Just about everyone was reading and adoring it. I’ve finally read it, and, while I don’t exactly adore it, I found plenty in it to … Continue reading

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21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey

I noted in my review of Blue at the Mizzen that the book felt like a transition to a new era, rather than the conclusion it ended up being when Patrick O’Brian died. At his death, he’d written almost three chapters … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 2 Comments

Silver Sparrow

When I finished Tayari Jones’s most recent novel, An American Marriage, I was so impressed that I immediately put her previous book, Silver Sparrow, on hold at the library. It, too, is a very good book about people caught up in an impossible … Continue reading

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The Puttermesser Papers

Ruth Puttermesser is a single, Jewish New Yorker in her 30s who, despite being a well-read intellectual, is stuck in a dull civil service job. In fact, her intellect got in her way, causing her to be demoted from a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments