book reviews

Review of Half a Life: a Memoir by Darin Strauss

From the back cover: In the last month of his high school career, just after turning eighteen, Strauss is behind the wheel of his father’s Oldsmobile, driving with friends, having ‘thoughts of mini-golf, another thought of maybe just going to the beach.’ Then, out of the blue: a collision that results in the death of

Read on »

The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone

The unusual title caught my eye (of course), and I saw a lot of good buzz on Twitter when this book came out last year. Then, leading up to the release date for the paperback edition, Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog offered up several copies of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, signed by

Read on »

Review: The Ringer by Jenny Shank

I received a bound galley of The Ringer, a debut novel by Jenny Shank, from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. Many thanks to The Permanent Press and to LT for the chance to read and review this book. I decided to copy the summary from the publisher’s website, because when I tried to write it

Read on »

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

The first time I heard of Jhumpa Lahiri was when one of the members of my book discussion group selected Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri’s debut story collection, when it was his turn to choose the book and lead the discussion. The book had recently come out in paperback, and had also won the Pulitzer Prize

Read on »

My long-delayed review of Great House by Nicole Krauss

(I really love the way the words dominate the cover. I always hear them in my head when I look at the book: “Nicole. KRAUSS. Great. HOUSE.” It reinforces the rhyme.) Thank you to W. W. Norton & Company, and to LibraryThing, for the advance reader’s copy of the novel Great House by Nicole Krauss.

Read on »

A few thoughts on book love and The Passage

Around the summer of 1986, I read my first Dean Koontz novel, Strangers. I’d never read anything like it, and it’s still my favorite of all the Koontz books I’ve read. It was something like 630 pages, hardcover, and I read it in five or six days. How deeply engrossed was I in Strangers? I

Read on »

Review: The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with W.G. Sebald

I received a copy of The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with W. G. Sebald, edited by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. Many thanks to the publisher, Seven Stories Press, and to LibraryThing, for the chance to obtain and review this book. When I found out I’d won this book through the ER

Read on »

Review: The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing

I received The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing through LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewers program, and I’m so so grateful that I did. Thank you to LT and to the publisher, Bloomsbury, for the opportunity to read and review this book. As I read the book, I marked the Table of Contents to indicate

Read on »

FreeVerse: Against Love Poetry by Eavan Boland

A few weeks ago, I read a book of poems by Eavan Boland called Against Love Poetry. I got it after Thanksgiving 2008, so Iā€™d only had it in my TBR Mountain a little over a year ā€“ not bad for me! I attended a poetry reading when I was in Tucson for library school,

Read on »