Category: reviews

Classics Club: Excellent Women

Posted October 15, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
Classics Club: Excellent Women

Barbara Pym, Excellent Women (1952) As I read Excellent Women, the best-known work by the once-neglected, now widely praised English novelist Barbara Pym, I was reminded of another acclaimed comic novel that I read not long ago: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. On the surface, Amis’s hard-drinking, buffoonish misogynist Jim Dixon may seem to have […]

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New Reprint Review: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Posted September 27, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 16 Comments
New Reprint Review: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Patricia A. McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (1974) Though McKillip’s early novel has become a classic of fairy-tale-flavored fiction, a favorite genre of mine, I’ve somehow managed not to read it until now. I’m so glad I finally did, thanks to a new, beautifully designed paperback and e-book edition from Tachyon books. This is […]

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Classics Club: The Return of the Native

Posted September 10, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 24 Comments
Classics Club: The Return of the Native

Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native (1874) This was one of the first nineteenth-century classics I ever encountered in school — in my high school freshman class on British lit, along with Hamlet, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, and The French Lieutenant’s Woman (a rather odd assortment, now that I come to think of it). […]

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Austen in August Review: The One That Got Away

Posted August 23, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 22 Comments
Austen in August Review: The One That Got Away

Melissa Pimentel, The One That Got Away (2017) Since I’ve been trying to read more contemporary fiction, this new release looked like it had some potential, as well as being the perfect tie-in for Austen in August. Described as a modern take on Persuasion, it concerns Ruby Atlas, a successful New York advertising executive, who […]

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Trying to Understand, Part 4: Listen, Liberal

Posted August 20, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 13 Comments
Trying to Understand, Part 4: Listen, Liberal

Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal (2016) Listen, Liberal, my latest read from the NYT list of “Six Books to Understand Trump’s Win,” can be summarized as follows: 1. Our country is screwed. 2. Don’t go blaming those crazy Republicans for this mess. Democrats (or at least the higher levels of the Democratic Party and especially the […]

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Classics Club: Frankenstein

Posted August 6, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 21 Comments
Classics Club: Frankenstein

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818) Frankenstein is one of those stories that everyone knows, even if you haven’t read it. Except once you do read it, you realize that the version in the popular imagination has little to do with Mary Shelley’s actual creation. There, you will find no mad scientists robbing graves for body parts; […]

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Classics Club: The Fledgling

Posted July 2, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 11 Comments
Classics Club: The Fledgling

Jane Langton, The Fledgling (1980) Although I read and enjoyed the first three books in Jane Langton’s “Hall Family Chronicles” as a child, I never ventured further for some reason. So when I saw book four, The Fledgling, on the Phoenix Award list, I wanted to finally catch up with it. Like the first three […]

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New Release Review: The Essex Serpent

Posted June 16, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 16 Comments
New Release Review: The Essex Serpent

Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent (2016) Perhaps because the nineteenth century saw the rise of the novel as a literary form, giving us an unprecedented number of imagined narratives about daily life and relationships, there’s a particular fascination in trying to go “behind the curtain” of the period and discern what the Victorians did NOT […]

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New Reprint Review: The Winged Girl of Knossos

Posted June 4, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 8 Comments
New Reprint Review: The Winged Girl of Knossos

Erick Berry, The Winged Girl of Knossos (1934) Ever since Betsy Bird put this long-lost Newbery honor book from 1934 at the top of her list of underrated middle grade books I’ve been dying to read it. And lo and behold, sometimes dreams do come true! Three years later, it’s back in print thanks to […]

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Classics Club: Man’s Search for Meaning

Posted May 21, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 23 Comments
Classics Club: Man’s Search for Meaning

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (1946) This year, I decided to add some categories to my Classics Club list. Though I’m still aiming to read 50 books in 5 years, there are now 80 books on my list from which I can pick and choose. This helps me feel a little less constrained. One […]

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