by Emily St. John Mandel. A wide-ranging circular story with little to serve as a cohesive adhesive. Dense and beautiful in its style and prose, metaphorically rich. Yet. Lacking a certain heart or soul. Told from the perspective of several narrators. Vincent, a young girl and her unlikeable uninteresting addict half-brother Paul. They merge with other characters in a remote glass hotel on an isolated island off the coast of Vancouver. Both become enmeshed in a ripped-from-the headlines financial scheme, as they grow into quirky adults. Other eccentric characters bob… Read more The Glass Hotel →
Spent the day doing an inventory of all the books on my shelves. Made a list and alphabetized by author. It was a great distraction. See UWS Stacks page.
Ben Dolnick, who wrote The Ghost Notebooks, discusses the wonderment of books in New York Times Sunday Review.
by Chloe Benjamin. Self-fulfilled prophesies. Intriguing premise. Would you want to know the date of your death? Would you waste a long life or live dangerously a short one? Does the knowledge gnaw at you such that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy? Benjamin treats each of these in the context of external forces. Does magic trump religion? Four siblings go to a fortune teller and take their fates away with them on a portentous day in the 1960’s NY. Takes them to San Francisco and Chicago. Well-drawn characters. The first half… Read more The Immortalists →
By Ben Dolnick. I started out loving Dolnick’s writing. Sharp-witted, insightful views of life. Crisp clear descriptions. Then both the writing and the story went awry. Into a depressing downward spiral of death and grief. Thought this was going to be about ghosts and the occult. If you want that, don’t get this. Only a little smattering of it at the end. Which was weak.
by Kate Greathead. Laura is an Upper East Sider with all of the usual old money trappings. Town home, private school, private family vacation peninsula. Her parents are typical. Father nice but remote. Mother somewhat interesting, but there is not enough of her. She seemed to have the most potential, but never came fully to life despite retrospective at her funeral. Laura’s brother Nick grows up to be hostile, but we are never sure why. Laura’s only passion seemed to be finding cheap stuff. Was hoping she’d discover love at… Read more Laura and Emma →
Carol Colitti Levine’s Reading List & Reviews 2010 – 2018