January 5, 2012
The Northmen have invaded Angland. The northernmost territory of the Union, a kingdom similar to Europe (or perhaps just a larger England), Angland has served as a tenuous barrier between the civilized Union and the wild tribes of the North, now held loosely under the control of Bethod, their self-proclaimed King.
December 30, 2011
Books in This Episode Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat Brainwashing for Beginners (and The Misanthrope’s Guide to Life) by Meghan Rowland and Chris Turner-Neal What Is the What by Dave Eggers War by Sebastian Junger Bookstores in This Episode Kramer Books Politics & Prose In My Mailbox is a way for book bloggers to discuss all […]
December 23, 2011
Books in This Episode Swamplandia! by Karen Russell Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover (I can’t believe I mispronounced his name!) The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander The Founding Fish by John McPhee The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc Frommer’s Maui 2008 by Jeanette Foster Fodor’s Maui 2008 by Amanda Theunissen […]
December 22, 2011
Alice Blackwell can’t stop thinking about the man camped outside the White House. He won’t leave, he pledges, until he can convince Charlie Blackwell, to end the war in Iraq. For the first time in many years, Alice begins to agree with the man: her husband, the President of the United States, is wrong.
December 16, 2011
In My Mailbox is a way for book bloggers to discuss all of the books that they come across each week.
December 15, 2011
“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientist perfected a cure.” So begins Lauren Oliver’s electrifying book, Delirium, the first in a trilogy of the same name.
December 12, 2011
Dying is bad enough. But waking up again is even worse.
December 1, 2011
Rachel DuPree is tired. Her five living children are hungry and thirsty, and the baby due any day will add another weight to Rachel’s already overburdened shoulders. The DuPrees have scraped through the long summer drought with dreams of cool drinking water and full bellies, and Rachel is sick with a feeling of failure; she has failed to provide for her family, and she has failed to tame the wild lands that she and her husband, Isaac, claimed fourteen years ago.
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 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 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.”
August 3, 2011
Short and sweet: Northwest Corner picks up twelve years after Reservation Road ended.
Theme song: “How to Save a Life” by the Fray (See “random pop culture references” below.)
Recommended for: Baseball fans who appreciate the lasting effects of latent violence.
Dwight Arno served his time in prison for not reporting his fatal accident with Josh Learner, and he is now living quietly in California. But in waiting to turn himself in, did he miss his shot at redemption? Will the mistakes he’s made continue to haunt him?
July 29, 2011
In the wake of a horrific accident that claims the life of ten-year-old Josh, the lives of two families begin to disintegrate. Josh’s parents, Ethan and Grace Learner, and his sister, Emma, become wrapped in impenetrable clouds of grief and guilt. Dwight Arno, the man who hit Josh with his car and sped away, deals with his own intense guilt and sadness at how his life has turned out, while his son, Sam, gradually unravels the truth about what really happened that day.
July 20, 2011
Sapphire’s second work of fiction, The Kid, begins with the funeral of the protagonist of her first novel, Push. Precious’s son, Abdul, is nine years old, and in the wake of his mother’s death he faces a terrifying world completely alone.
July 13, 2011
Babe, Millie, and Grace have been friends for as long as they can remember. They have their differences—pugnacious Babe grew up in the poor section of town and never met with approval from Grace’s upper-class mother, while sweet Millie dealt with the loss of her parents at a young age. But now, as World War II summons their husbands and boyfriends, the women must come to terms with the reality of an America at war, where romance and joy are replaced with grief and loss and then with strength and wisdom.
July 11, 2011
Long before Stefan Merrill Block was born, the marriage between his grandparents, Frederick and Katharine Merrill, was pushed to the breaking point. Frederick’s alcohol abuse and infidelity had wounded Katharine for years, but his manic depression took him too far one night. Katharine convinced the police to take him to a renowned mental hospital in Massachusetts instead of placing him under arrest.