This tag is associated with 9 posts

Book Review – Wise Men by Stuart Nadler

The buzz and excitement surrounding debut author Stuart Nadler in the United States has gone global.  To call it hype would suggest that it’s not justified and believe me, it is.  Nadler is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (alma mater of no fewer than 17 Pulitzer Prize winners), has held teaching posts both … Continue reading

Book Review – Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt

Last week in 2012 – My Year in Books I revealed my six personal favourites.  Today, for my final review of the year I’ve chosen one of the most memorable books I’ve read, Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods, which took an entire decade to find a publisher before being released by New Directions in the USA … Continue reading

Book Review – Canada by Richard Ford

In my Book Review: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides I talked about the fear and apprehension that sometimes come with reading something new by a ‘Literary Giant’.  I could very easily have included Richard Ford in my list – his status as a giant of American literature is beyond question – but it simply didn’t … Continue reading

Taking No Prisoners – My View of Fifty Shades of Grey

Warning:  This article makes reference to sexually explicit material. By the time I finished the first chapter of E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, two things were clear:  everything I’d heard about the writing was true, and it wasn’t going to be a long read.  One of these was regrettable, the other a blessed relief.  I’m not … Continue reading

Book Review – Arcadia by Lauren Groff

The question of what literary fiction is, or isn’t, is one that both frustrates and fascinates me.  I’ve read many novels designated literary and not understood what distinguishes them from really well-written commercial fiction (now sometimes referred to as upmarket commercial).  One criterion common to the various definitions of literary fiction is that the writing itself, the … Continue reading

Book Review – The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Rewind 20 years:  Under a bright blue California sky, sun beating down, my (now) husband and I are hanging out with our friend Adam in San Diego.  There is beer, popcorn, hotdogs and despite all of this I’m bored out of my mind.  I’m at a baseball game.  Fastforward to 2010, when my sons went … Continue reading

Book Review – We Had It So Good by Linda Grant

Last week’s blogpost 2011 – My Year in Books was about the way certain novels become significant in our lives in a way which transcends the words on the page.  A couple more of mine are The Line of Beauty (2004) by Alan Hollinghurst which awed me to the point of putting me off trying to write (ridiculous, … Continue reading

Book Review: Florence & Giles by John Harding

I came to this book with no preconceptions, having bought it on Kindle because someone on Twitter had recommended it as a Victorian ghost story.   That’s all I knew.   I may have been attracted by the title Florence & Giles – titles made up of two first names are rare and bold, and the novel itself … Continue reading

On Location: #2 Red Hook, Brooklyn

In my first post on this blog, I confessed a weakness for places which are off the beaten track, quirky, not conventionally beautiful.  Red Hook is like that.  It was one of the earliest parts of Brooklyn to be settled, by the Dutch in 1636, and the name comes from the colour of the soil … Continue reading