November 22, 2011
Oei is a painter in her father’s studio, his oldest and most faithful disciple. Her father, Hokusai, is a famed artist throughout Edo, and his influence is reaching other parts of Japan as well. Despite the shogun’s censorship of art and free speech, Hokusai’s work only grows in popularity, and he even sells his art to the Dutch traders who are allowed limited engagement with Japan.
November 16, 2011
Based on and taking its name from the classic twelfth-century Sufi epic poem, The Conference of the Birds is a sweeping, simple story, an abbreviated yet epic tale.
November 10, 2011
In January 1943, two hundred and thirty women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country.
In 1941, Nazi Germany easily defeated France and struck a deal with a well-loved World War I hero, Marshal Philippe Pétain, who would lead the occupied country. In return, the Vichy government would collaborate with the occupiers.
November 4, 2011
Cecilia Morton—“Chess,” as everyone calls her—is an average, gangly girl growing up in the 1940s Arkansas Delta. When her father died a few years ago, she became heir to his land and the massive holdings of his father as well. But her grandfather is not ready to relinquish control yet, and when he sells off some of Chess’s father’s land to the US government to build a Japanese American detainment camp, he sets in motion events that no one in their small town could have fathomed.
October 26, 2011
Sally Ketchum has had a hard life. Her father, a dirt-farming alcoholic and religious fanatic, made her childhood living hell. At eighteen, she meets a young, charming man named Tex Jones who frees her from the prison of East Texas, but their incredible bond is broken when he dies in a tragic airplane accident.
October 19, 2011
In the wake of a tragic accident that claims the life of her mother, Donia Bijan finds herself lost in memories of her family’s history—from pleasant memories of growing up on the second floor of her parents’ hospital in Tehran to fearfully fleeing Iran for their lives.
October 14, 2011
Though I was thrown off by the book’s confusing layout and titles, this is a fun source of inspiration for readers who want to learn more about the countries they plan to–or dream of–visiting.
October 5, 2011
Donna Johnson had an unusual childhood. Her mother brought Donna and her younger brother, Gary, into the inner circle of David Terrell, a very popular big tent revivalist in the 1960s and 70s. Donna spent her childhood under the wing of the charismatic and megalomaniacal minister; the only home she knew was under the “largest tent in the world.”
September 30, 2011
In addition to her position as senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, Carol Fisher Saller is editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online‘s Q&A.
During her tenure, she has received tens of thousands of grammar and style questions pertaining Chicago’s complex rules for publishing. Somehow, she reads every single one, no matter how esoteric or absurd, and she posts answers to the most common and/or difficult questions in the online Q&A.
September 23, 2011
Creative in concept and dark in tone, this innovative picture book for adults combines magical realism and gothic themes.
Final verdict? Not as awful as Her Fearful Symmetry, but not as good as The Time Traveler’s Wife.
September 15, 2011
Basil Hallward, an artist, is in love with his latest painting–and his subject, Dorian Gray. In fact, Hallward firmly believes that Gray’s indisputable beauty and charm have taken his art to an entirely new level, to the point that all who gaze upon his image are compelled to fall in love.
September 9, 2011
People have described Neil Gaiman’s American Gods as one of the true new classics of fantasy. I generally scoff at such claims, since it is virtually impossible to tell which works will stand the test of time; many books and movies are widely heralded upon their release, only to be quickly forgotten. But the description is actually quite fitting for American Gods. The book has a patient, almost meandering approach that echoes the slower pace of classical movies like “Citizen Kane” or “The Maltese Falcon.”
September 6, 2011
What is madness? How does one distinguish between a behavioral disorder and a really bad day?
Ned Zeman, a journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Spy, GQ, Outside, and Sports Illustrated, turns his eye to the one subject that has constantly eluded him: himself. His zany memoir of madness and memory loss reads like one long feature piece—a profile of himself.
September 1, 2011
“It wasn’t that she didn’t believe in love; but she no longer believed in it for herself.” This simple proclamation, uttered by Drew Brooks, a character in Daphne Kalotay’s first novel, reveals an ingrained belief that haunts all three protagonists of Russian Winter. Kalotay, whose short fiction is gathered in Calamity and Other Stories, illustrates how the lives of three seemingly disconnected people become intertwined amidst a jewelry collection that the central protagonist, Nina Revskaya, has put up for auction.
August 29, 2011
A guest review (and recipe!) from Ruth! Title: Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake Cakes Forever Author: Linda West Eckhardt ISBN: 9780811842402 Pages: 196 Release date: July 2005 Publisher: Chronicle Books Genre: Cookbook Format: Paperback Source: Ruth’s collection Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Linda West began her journey into baking more than a decade ago. As time went by, she came to the conclusion that there had to be a better way to […]
August 23, 2011
Henry House is the practice baby everyone falls in love with. There have been and will be other babies, orphans who stay in the Wilton College Home Economics course for two years each to teach young women how to care for children. The practice house is “a testament to the belief that women could replace the mysteries of child rearing with mastery.”