Recent Reading.

As I’ve been mostly working on fiction lately, I’ve not been as active in my book reviewing. But I’ve still been reading—of course—so I thought I might make it a regular part of this blog to round-up some of the better books I’ve come across. The bulk of my reading lately has been as a committee […]

Of the books I read that were published in 2015, these are my favorites.

This has become a yearly tradition—joining the chorus of book lists to toss in my thoughts on the great books published this past year that I was able to read this past year. In 2014 I enjoyed Amy Bloom’s Lucky Us, among others, and the year before it was The Infatuations by Javier Marías that topped my list. For more explanation about […]

My review of “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Days.”

My review of Salman Rushdie’s latest novel is online at the Lincoln Journal-Star and in today’s (Sunday’s) paper. It starts: In all that has been written about him, no one has accused Salman Rushdie of lacking imagination. The author of the Booker Prize-winning “Midnight’s Children,” one of the past century’s great novels, as well as “The […]

My review of “Purity.”

My review of Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, Purity, is now online at the Lincoln Journal-Star. An excerpt: There are many brilliant bits of this novel, and Franzen remains one of the country’s most gifted writers. His psychological acuity may be unmatched, at least among living American writers, and he deserves credit for squarely taking on […]

Review of “The Narrow Road to the Deep North.”

My review of Richard Flanagan’s Man Book Prize-Winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, is in today’s paper and is also online here. A bit: Dorrigo Evans is considered by everyone— except himself — to be a war hero. A physician, he becomes the de facto leader of his fellow Australian POWs who […]

Review of “Paris” by Torrente.

My review of the wonderful novel Paris by Marcos Giralt Torrente has been posted at Necessary Fiction. Check it out if you’re interested in meditative European fiction (and you should be).

A Connecticut “The Children Act.”

Proving perhaps that Ian McEwan was on to something, a recent case out of Connecticut seems to be playing out the drama of McEwan’s novel The Children Act: The girl, identified in court papers as Cassandra C., learned that she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September. Ever since, she and her mother have been entangled in a legal […]

Of the books I read that were published in 2014, these are my favorites.

(This is part of a series I try to do every year. For more explanation about the long title, see this post.) Fiction Lucky Us, Amy Bloom: This sharp, short novel about the lives of two half-sisters was consistently surprising and heartbreaking. Bloom deserves more attention for it. (Review) (Buy) 10:04, Ben Lerner: Lerner, a […]

Review of “Leaving the Pink House” by Ladette Randolph.

My review of Ladette Randolph’s enjoyable new memoir, Leaving the Pink House, is in Sunday’s Lincoln Journal Star, and online here as well. A bit: Throughout, the prose isn’t flashy or showy, but crystalline and precise. Randolph’s life may not have had quite as many upheavals as other, similar memoirs — such as “The Glass Castle” […]