Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield. A meandering magical sojourn along the winding upper Thames. Only one other person in our NYC Book Club liked it besides me. The others pretty much hated it. So. Discovered Sadie Jones. First read Snakes, her recent novel about a ramshackle inn in France and then her older The Uninvited Guests. Both feature awful mothers and quirky dwellings. Witty prose. Ruth Reichl’s Save Me The Plums proves that not only is she a legendary food editor and writer, but a really good story teller. Lots… Read more Best of 2019 →
by Linda Joffe Hull & Keir Graff = Linda Keir. Secret History-ish. Murder mystery at a Prep School twenty years after the disappearance of a visiting poetry instructor. I liked it. Not brilliant writing. Yet. The amalgam authorship worked. Getting different points of view through old journals and current thoughts clever and compelling. Not sure how the two writers collaborated, but it really did flow well and each character was sharply drawn and memorable. At first I thought, another love story in high school, and frankly who remembers high school… Read more Drowning With Others →
What our Book Club has been reading over the past month: Becoming by Michelle Obama Fear by Bob Woodward An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver The Salt Path by Raynor Winn Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Ben Dolnick, who wrote The Ghost Notebooks, discusses the wonderment of books in New York Times Sunday Review.
by Leila Slimani. Translated from the French by Sam Taylor. A chilling one-sitting story of a nanny over the edge. It raises the question of who parents leave their most precious children with for ten hours a day while they pursue careers. And. The lack of appreciation for these caregivers as human beings with the right to lives and feelings. How can a person spend that amount of time raising kids from infancy not become attached? Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes not. The translation is pretty well done, but there are… Read more The Perfect Nanny →
Best of the Year Golden Hill, Francis Spufford Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie Autumn, Ali Smith Shipping Out, David Foster Wallace Worth the Read The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin Warlight, Michael Ondaatje Memento Park, Mark Sarvas French Exit, Patrick DeWitt The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday The Innocent Wife (Red River), Amy Lloyd The Witch Elm, Tana French Bitter Orange, Claire Fuller Light Reading The French Girl, Lexie Elliott Laura and Emma, Kate Greathead The Ghost Notebooks, Ben Dolnick Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton The Banker’s Wife, Cristina Alger A… Read more Carol’s Carrel 2018 →
From Esquire. Already read Laura & Emma, Warlight, French Exit. Okay, Good, Very Good. Dr. Husband read A Long Way From Home. Not so much. He did love Milkman. Man-Booker winner 2018.
by Sarah Perry. Should have realized after reading Perry’s Essex Serpent that this would be another unscary Halloween story. Melmoth, the old witness who sees all of our bad deeds, is a witchy figure dressed in black. She lurks everywhere. The one who denied seeing Jesus rise from the dead. She’s the lore of many countries told to little children by their sadistic parents. Guilt. Shame. Conscience. She follows them through life. Spooky? No. For such a horrible portent, the stories told through letters and documents and by Helen, a… Read more Melmoth →