Quick Quotes: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

Posted May 5, 2014 by Lory in quotes / 2 Comments
Quick Quotes: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

The only vessel in which the soul could be studied was the living human body, which made it as difficult as trying to study the soul of a Mexican jumping bean. We could learn nothing about the soul from a corpse, I had decided, after several firsthand encounters with cadavers. Flavia de Luce, in The […]

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Where in the World Is Susanna Kaysen: Cambridge

Posted May 2, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 0 Comments
Where in the World Is Susanna Kaysen: Cambridge

Susanna Kaysen, Cambridge (2014) Based on the title and publicity, I was expecting Cambridge to be a portrait of Susanna Kaysen’s childhood (and current) home town, Cambridge, Massachusetts. However, while I found that it actually didn’t have much to offer about Cambridge, it did contain a stunning self-portrait of a girl who isn’t sure who […]

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Harriet’s Sister: A Long Way From Verona

Posted April 25, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 2 Comments
Harriet’s Sister: A Long Way From Verona

Jane Gardam, A Long Way from Verona (1971) Can you believe Harriet the Spy is 50 years old? Yes, she first made her appearance in 1964. In honor of this anniversary here’s a recent reread at A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy that goes through the whole book with chapter-by-chapter reactions, ending up […]

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A Magical Library: The Bodleian’s Magical Tales

Posted April 11, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 4 Comments
A Magical Library: The Bodleian’s Magical Tales

Larrington and Purkiss, eds., Magical Tales (2013) My one visit to Oxford was long ago as an 18-year-old on a choir tour of England. Our chaperones normally kept a pretty tight rein on us, but for some reason this time they actually let us roam around by ourselves for a while. I was in literary […]

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Beautiful Books: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Posted April 2, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 0 Comments
Beautiful Books: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) When I moved to New Hampshire a year ago, I found out that I was entering the land of Our Town. Thornton Wilder’s classic play was written in and based on the town of Peterborough, NH, 15 minutes away from my new home. My memories of […]

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A Woman of Science, an Age of Wonder

Posted March 28, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 1 Comment
A Woman of Science, an Age of Wonder

Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things (Viking, 2013) Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder (Pantheon, 2008) The Signature of All Things, Gilbert’s first full-length work of fiction after her memoir Eat, Pray, Love became a surprise hit, is a big, ambitious book. It ranges across space and time, taking us from London to Philadelphia […]

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Beautiful Books: The Dark Is Rising

Posted March 22, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 1 Comment
Beautiful Books: The Dark Is Rising

Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone (1965) Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising (1973) Susan Cooper, Greenwitch (1974) Susan Cooper, The Grey King (1975) Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree (1976)     There are very few living authors who have not just one title, but an entire series of books given the Folio Society […]

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My First Terry Pratchett: The Truth

Posted March 5, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 4 Comments
My First Terry Pratchett: The Truth

Terry Pratchett, The Truth (2000) The first book you read by a favorite author has a special quality. Even if there are other books by the same author that you realize are more worthy of recognition, the joy of discovery lends your “first” a lingering glow. Sometimes, the particular circumstances of finding the book are […]

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Arthurian Africa? Two novels by Elizabeth Wein

Posted January 24, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 0 Comments
Arthurian Africa? Two novels by Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth Wein, The Winter Prince (1993) Elizabeth Wein, The Sunbird (2006) Elizabeth Wein has an unusual take on the Arthurian legend in her Lion Hunters series. She starts out in The Winter Prince focusing on Medraut (Mordred in other versions), who is usually portrayed in a fairly one-sided and unsympathetic way as the villain of […]

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Life During Wartime: The Two Mrs. Abbotts

Posted January 12, 2014 by Lory in reviews / 0 Comments
Life During Wartime: The Two Mrs. Abbotts

D.E. Stevenson, The Two Mrs. Abbotts (1943) Between Miss Buncle Married and The Two Mrs. Abbotts, seven years elapsed, and the world changed utterly. England was now in the midst of the Second World War, and the screwball antics of the first two volumes perhaps seemed out of place to their creator. Whatever the reason, […]

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