Tag Archives: 21st Century

Everybody Rise, Burn Baby Burn, Rereading Roald Dahl

Sometimes as a parent you get those moments when you feel like you must be doing something right, and having my 5-year-old ask me to reread her The BFG and The Witches was definitely one of those moments. We enjoyed them just as much the 2nd time through, and now she’s eager to have me read The BFG a third time so that her big sister can get why we think snozzcumbers are so funny. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina hooked me right away…

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Viral, Lorrie Moore, Girl Through Glass, New Chris Bohjalian

I’m like my very on book club as my latest reads have all been women-centered and fairly mainstream. But while all of them were easy, diverting reads, only one of them lived up to the jacket copy. Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America was a departure for me as I hardly ever read short stories. This one I did in fact read for a book club, the first one I’ve joined in ages. As much as I love to read, I don’t generally do well in…

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The Singing Bone by Beth Hahn

Synopsis: When a documentary filmmaker decides to take on the infamous Jack Wyck murders, Alice, a professor of folklore, finds herself forced to confront the summer she and her best friends fell under the sway of the charismatic man who tattooed his name on the insides of their legs, and for whom they would do absolutely anything. Review: This is the one you need to read. So much beauty and horror and terror and humanity and tragedy and sadness and lightness, all perfectly calibrated and…

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Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood

My love for T. Greenwood has been well-documented in this blog, and I eagerly await every one of her new novels. Thankfully she’s prolific, and with Where I Lost Her, she adds a level of suspense and mystery to complicated family dynamics she so deftly creates for each book. Tess is in trouble. She drinks too much, and she’s just learned something awful about her husband, Jake. On a visit to her childhood friend, Effie (from Greenwood’s debut Breathing Water), Tess is drunk driving home…

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BFG, Flora and Ulysses, Ben & Me, and Ender’s Game

Oh, I am hard-pressed to say which of the characters in these books for kids/young adults I love the most! The Big Friendly Giant, Ulysses the flying squirrel, Amos the mouse who lives in Ben Frankin’s fur hat, or Ender, the 6-year-old military mastermind. Okay, my feelings for Ender aren’t exactly affection or delight like I have for the others, but this is my most recent batch of books read for homeschool. The BFG was yet another Roald Dahl I’d never read before, and I’m…

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The Winter Girl by Mark Marinovich

Synopsis: When Scott and his wife Elise move into her father’s Hamptons home to await his death in hospice care, he becomes fascinated by the house next door, which is seemingly empty and not-empty at the same time, and the actions he takes to alleviate his curiosity have devastating consequences. Review: The Winter Girl is a dirty piece of business that makes Gone Girl seem like a romance. I was fascinated by the extremity of the story, repelled by the depravity, and sucked in by…

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The Blondes, Fates and Furies, And Again, The Fifth Season

Some strong reads in the last few weeks. I want to get Fates and Furies out of the way because I basically hate-read it. I just didn’t get what the big Story was. While I liked Mathilde’s backstory and some of her choices in the second half, I just couldn’t get over how fusty and edge-less it felt to me. Not enough rock ‘n’ roll for a story about young people in the West Village in the late 1990s… maybe because that’s where I lived…

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Cormoran Strike, Dungeons and Dragons, and Creepy ‘Eileen’

I’m utterly enthralled by Cormoran Strike, the private detective at the center of JK Rowling’s pseudonymous crime series. The third book, Career of Evil, finds Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott the target of a psychopath with a penchant for dismemberment–and Robin seems to be his target. Rowling (as Robert Galbraith) understands that she can’t just deliver an intricately plotted crime story, she also has to take the characters further on their journey. At the end of the book, I was so heavily invested in…

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Last from Ruth Rendell, Fantasy Debut

I’m so sad to be writing a review of Dark Corners, because it’ll be the last book from one of my favorite authors of all time. Ruth Rendell died earlier this year and left behind a tremendous legacy. As her alter ego Barbara Vine she wrote beautifully complex psychological thrillers, and while her Rendell books were more procedural they still always had crazy amounts of depth. Dark Corners isn’t her greatest Rendell work (I reserve that praise for Judgment in Stone), but I was duly…

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The Lake House by Kate Morton

I really, really wanted to love The Lake House by Kate Morton the way I loved the first book of hers I ever read, The Forgotten Garden, which still stands as one of the finest contemporary Gothic mysteries I’ve ever read. I wasn’t as thrilled by The Distant Hours (which I couldn’t finish) or The House at Riverton (which I don’t really remember), but her skill with structure will always keep me coming back. The Lake House definitely kept me turning pages, but overall I…

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