Category Archives: Fiction


I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren’t, and deals so simplistically with what’s truly appalling. I’m tired of the vitriol. I’m tired of the anger. I’m tired of the meanness. I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 11 Comments

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

This ambitious novel by Arundhati Roy begins with the story of a woman named Anjum. Born intersex, Anjum was raised as a boy, but as soon as she was able to choose for herself she gave herself the name Anjum … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

The Prime Minister

Teresa and I have been slowly making our way through Anthony Trollope’s Palliser novels, and The Prime Minister is the fifth. This book splits itself into two threads, which brush each other but don’t influence each other heavily. One is … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | Leave a comment

Lincoln in the Bardo

I like George Saunders’s short stories, but I was skeptical of his first full-length novel. The premise—Abraham Lincoln surrounded by a chorus of ghosts at his son’s grave—seemed like something that could just be plotless introspection. I’d don’t need books … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

Exit West

Once again, Frances, Meredith, Nicole, Rebecca, and I (aka the WoMan Booker Shadow Panel) are reading the Man Booker longlist together (or as many as we can get to). I read The Underground Railroad a while ago, so this is my … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 10 Comments

A Tale for the Time Being

Let me tell you about this book. No. It is too much. Let me sum up. Ruth, an author living on a remote island off the coast of Washington*, finds an odd piece of jetsam: a Hello Kitty lunchbox that … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 13 Comments

Binny in Secret

I am mournful to say that this is the first book by Hilary McKay that I haven’t adored. In fact, it’s the first book in yonks that I’ve had to adopt my friend Other Jenny’s practice and Read the End … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction | 1 Comment

The Call of the Wild

My daughter had some summer reading to do for her English class next year. She had to choose a “classic,” so she picked The Call of the Wild, by Jack London. I had actually never read it, nor anything else … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 15 Comments

The Wine-Dark Sea

The 16th book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series finds the Surprise still in the South Pacific, en route to South America, where Stephen has a secret spying mission. The journey so far has been complicated, with multiple delays along the way, making … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 6 Comments

Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda is the fifth of George Eliot’s novels that I’ve read, and the first that I found to be really slow reading. I don’t know whether it was my mood or the weather or the news cycle, but I … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 22 Comments