Tag Archives: New York Woman

Healing Paradise by Gay Courter

Synopsis: As WWII encroaches, Rozy braves judgment and trials, both personal and professional, to be one of only 4 women in her class at Cornell Medical School, finding passion for her work and a love that may not survive the rigors of her life as a doctor. Review: In Healing Paradise, Gay Courter has done a great job developing a most fascinating world, that of medical school in the late 1930s/early 1940s. I loved seeing the inner workings of medical school, and the ways in…

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Synopsis: A coming of age story about a girl growing up in Williamsburg in the first half of the 20th Century. Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of the most wonderful books of all time. It’s almost too perfect in its humor, poignancy, and wisdom. I’ve read it countless times since I was a bookish kid like Francie Nolan, wishing I could buy penny candy and sleep in the front room on a cool fall night. My heart broke for her all over…

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Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson (Katie Chandler, Book 1)

Synopsis: An ordinary New York City girl gets recruited by a magical agency precisely because she is immune to magic. Review: Cute, light, and fun, Enchanted, Inc. was exactly the palate cleanser I needed after gorging on A Dance With Dragons. I especially loved that Shanna Swendson didn’t feel the need to make Katie klutzy or ditsy. She wasn’t afraid to have Katie be outspoken and assertive. She was my kind of girl and I really enjoyed spending time in her head. Share on Facebook

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The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

Synopsis: Upper East Side bond trader mows down Bronx “honor student” and New York City freaks out. Review: Oh, how I love Bonfire of the Vanities! I have read it several times, most memorably rereading it in the first month after I moved to New York City, way back in 1995. I don’t know that I could ever tire of reading it, because I’m always astonished by how deep Wolfe takes you into every single little nuance of the story. And it’s funny how the…

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Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn

Synopsis: MILFs in Brooklyn! Review: Amy Sohn is a writer who’s been on my radar since I first moved to New York City in 1995, and it’s like she’s lived the public, more successful version of my life. Her single girl escapades got published in the New York Press; I was an escapading single girl who read the Press every week. She wrote a novel loosely based on her own life that got turned into a movie; I do movie adaptations of books whose writers…

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Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman

Synopsis: Hired to teach at a secluded, artsy boarding school, a young widow discovers that mystery and murder roil below the bucolic surface. Review: I wanted to adore Arcadia Falls, but I only got about 80% there. I loved the atmosphere that Carol Goodman created for Arcadia, the creepy boarding school in the middle of the woods in upstate New York. The backstory was most excellent, starting with a 1920s artists’ colony founded by two lesbians, one deeply conflicted and not entirely committed to Team…

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Cooking For Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser

Synopsis: A food writer tells her own love story through vignettes of the wonderful meals she had during her courtship and engagement with a man who nearly lost her by putting Equal in his latte. Review: Amanda Hesser is so charming! Cooking for Mr. Latte was both romantic and mouthwatering, filled with funny, honest, and delightful anecdotes about food, dining, relationships, and love. Each chapter offers recipes that seem accessible and sound absolutely delicious. You bet I will be making her Kadjemoula (North African Lamb…

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The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King (The Dark Tower)

Synopsis: The gunslinger steps into the lives of three different New Yorkers, and must figure out how they fit into his quest before he dies of an infection. Review: The contrast between The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three always astonishes me. As King puts it in his introduction, in book 2 of the Dark Tower series the story really takes off. I always spend the first few chapters mourning the elegiac tone of the first book, but soon am swept away by the…

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The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax

Synopsis: When novelist Kendall Ames is dropped by her publisher and her husband, she faces a case of writer’s block so severe that her best friends–also novelists–decide to help her writer her next novel and let her take all the credit. Review: I’m a sucker for novels about writers, because they always get me off my butt and working on my own stuff. And of course I like good chick lit, so I was primed to enjoy The Accidental Bestseller. The plot was a strange…

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Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

Synopsis: Upon waking up married after a whirlwind night in Vegas, Peggy discovers that her uptight WASP “husband” might be the answer to her prayers–if only they can put up with each other for just one year. Review: The setup of Mating Rituals of the North American WASP couldn’t be more contrived. You’ve got a fake marriage, an aging dowager with capricious will-rewriting tendencies, and an odd couple that are so wrong for each other that they’re meant to be. The story unfolds along a…

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