I am just about finished with Sara Blaedel’s The Forgotten Girls. As crime fiction goes, it is pretty standard fare. What I didn’t realize until after I started reading it, however, is that Blaedel is from Denmark. And looking back, the last several crime fiction books I’ve read have also been from that part of the world: Stieg Larsson and his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series (Sweden); and his Detective Harry Hole series (Norway); and maybe not exactly crime fiction, but along these same lines, Herman Koch (born in the Netherlands, but having spent some time in Finland)(I recently devoured both The Dinner and Summer House With Swimming Pool. Excellent!). Continue reading
You know that moment in a book when you realize where its title came from? Sometimes it’s just a catch-all theme. Sometimes it emerges as an idea. Sometimes it’s an actual line in the book. For some reason, I always find this moment exciting. It makes me giddy. I will often mark it with one of my ever-present Post-Its, just so I can come back and relive the moment later. That’s how much I love it. Continue reading
If there is one thing I lament in life, it’s the absence of sufficient free reading time. I love to read, but by the time I get all my work done, and chores done, and finish all the other things I have to do, there is precious little time left over for anything else. I read, sure, 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, but it’s not the luxuriant hour upon gorgeous hour that I crave. So on those rare occasions when I get to take a vacation, I am always excited to finally get caught up on some reading. Continue reading
Sometimes, when you really love a book, you think “man, I really like this book, I wish I had a million more like it.” I’ve had this feeling here recently with Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment. So good! But unfortunately, it seems to be uniquely good. It sort of defies comparison. One contributor has described it as Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs meets Herman Koch’s The Dinner. So far, I have found that to be very accurate. But unfortunately I have already read both of those books. So now what? Continue reading
If you liked The Secret History by Donna Tartt (I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely adored this book; one of my favorites of all time; easily top 10), here are 18 other books you simply must read: Continue reading
“Humankind cannot bear too much reality.” T.S. Eliot.
Based on the title alone, I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time. And the subtitle, “A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines” only further piqued my interest. Having finished the book, I find the title to be more accurate than the subtitle; this certainly seemed like a guide to how many professors dissect literature, for better or worse. But as to “lively and entertaining,” while it may be the most lively and entertaining guide of its kind, I’m not sure that’s saying much. Continue reading
I have been amused by every David Sedaris book that I have read. As is so often the case with talented and prolific authors, each new one I read becomes my new favorite. This was the case with Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, not, I don’t think because this is necessarily his most funny, but because it was, to me anyway, his most relateably human. Continue reading
For as far back as I can remember, I have strongly believed that libraries are just about the coolest places around. I love the books, the ambience, the possibilities. But I have come to realize that one of the most unsung yet greatest parts about libraries is their librarians. Intelligent, helpful, bookish, they are great sources of information. I have received many excellent book recommendations over the years from thoughtful librarians, especially Dunce One, aka The World’s Strongest Librarian.
I don’t usually put much stock in the blurbs on the backs or inside covers of books, but check out these two on the back cover of Stoner, by John Williams, which I am currently reading and loving: Continue reading