“Great House” by Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss’s Great House is intricately crafted, beautifully written, poignantly populated, and kind of plotless.

Great House presents the idea that your furniture—the enduring collection of things with which you surround yourself—defines you. The characters’ furniture even serves as parts of their identities and personalities. Each of the lonely, troubled narrators externalize and objectify the conflicts within and between themselves, placing parts of their souls in their belongings in order to transcend their humanity, like Voldemort and his horcruxes.

My Mailbox: Miranda Kennedy, Susi Wyss, and More

In My Mailbox is a way for book bloggers to discuss all of the books that they come across each week.

Books I’ve received this week:

  • Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves
  • Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India by Miranda Kennedy
  • The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories by Susi Wyss
  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing: True Stories from Around the World, edited by Lavinia Spalding
  • The Art of Travel by Alain De Botton
  • My Mailbox: Ellen Feldman, Ned Zeman, and More

    I’m back from Indonesia! I’d hoped to have another video about books I received while I was gone, but I lost my voice somewhere in the jungles of Borneo. Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela Ciuraru Wow, Ms. Ciuraru, with a tongue-twisting name like that I can see why you’d be interested in pseudonyms! This book looks fascinating, though; the author examines the lives of authors such as Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, and George Eliot, “plumbing the creative []

    Hello from Indonesia!

    That’s right, I’m in Indonesia! I’ll be traveling for the next two weeks, so I won’t be updating this site until I’m back. Until then, take a stroll through the archives to satisfy your hankering for books. Here are some of my most popular reviews: War by Sebastian Junger Zeitoun by Dave Eggers The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Room by Emma Donoghue

    “Skipping a Beat” by Sarah Pekkanen

    Julie and Michael Dunhill have it all: a gorgeous mansion in DC, a multi-million dollar business, co-ownership in the local basketball team. But everything they have fought for in life–the money, prestige, popularity–have only driven them further apart.

    My Mailbox: Sir Walter Scott, Jane Smiley, and More

    Books I mention: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott A History of God and In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis, both by Karen Armstrong At Paradise Gate by Jane Smiley Northwest Corner (and Reservation Road) by John Burnham Schwartz YogaNap: Restorative Poses for Deep Relaxation by Kristen Rentz

    “The Girl Who Played with Fire” by Stieg Larsson

    After firmly re-establishing himself as the fearless investigative journalist and publisher behind Millennium magazine—a publication once scorned for its inaccuracy that is now flying off newsstand shelves—Mikael Blomkvist is, once again, on top of his game. So when he is approached by Dag Svensson, a young man who has just spent years writing a dissertation on sex trafficking, Mikael is immediately taken by the idea of publishing Svensson’s controversial findings.

    My Mailbox: Cathy Alter, Judith Lasater, and R. Scott Bakker

    This week I received five good books in the mail—two review copies, and three that I bought for myself on a rainy day last week. The Storm at the Door by Stefan Merrill Block This book is being published by Random House in June, and I’ll be reviewing it in July with TLC Book Tours—I love those guys! More about the book: Inspired by elements of the lives of the author’s grandparents, this haunting love story shifts through time and reaches across []

    “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn picks up where The Adventures of Tom Sawyer left off. The Widow Douglas adopts Huck, and he goes to live with her and her sister, Miss Watson. But Huck isn’t taking to his new life too well; though he wants to please the Widow, he finds himself making mistakes in his new life everywhere he turns.

    My Mailbox: Zelda Fitzgerald, Emma Donoghue, and Meg Wolitzer

    I received some good books in the mail this week, two of which I ordered online and one of which comes from a good friend. I also made an unsupervised trip to the library in my new car this weekend, and I came back with only two books! Jack was so proud. Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald I enjoyed Tender Is the Night by Zelda’s husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I found myself yearning for a complementary view—for the wife’s []

    “War” by Sebastian Junger

    Sebastian Junger’s War follows its famous author as he spends nearly a year in Afghanistan as a writer for Vanity Fair. He also captured his experience on on a small handheld camcorder, which was used to create 2010 documentary Restrepo with Tim Hetherington.

    Spring Readathon!

    With the arrival of the cherry blossoms in D.C., it is officially spring. And I can think of no better way to celebrate than everyone’s favorite seasonal event: a 24-hour readathon! Though I will be house-shopping on Saturday afternoon, I plan to devote the majority of my weekend to reading. I’d like to finish up a few books I’m in the middle of right now, including: • The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie • The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy • []

    “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

    Heart of Darkness begins as a story among friends on a boat anchored on the River Thames. The narrator tells how Charles Marlow wonders aloud that nearby London, now the largest, most populous, and wealthiest city in the world, was once as dark and savage as Africa. Indeed, before the Roman conquest, London was “one of the dark places on earth,” Marlow tells his astonished companions.