Format: Hardcover

To be a king: Mary Renault’s Theseus books

Posted March 15, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
To be a king: Mary Renault’s Theseus books

Mary Renault, The King Must Die (1958) Mary Renault, The Bull from the Sea (1962) What is a true king? That question runs throughout the two historical novels that Mary Renault wrote about Theseus, the legendary ruler of Athens. As the young hero grows up, from mysterious beginnings, through trials that test his strength both […]

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Trying to Understand Part 1: The Unwinding

Posted January 22, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 42 Comments
Trying to Understand Part 1: The Unwinding

George Packer, The Unwinding (2013) This post is part of a series based around the New York Times’s list of “books to understand Trump’s win.” Rachel of Hibernator’s Library suggested doing a readalong of these six books, and I thought it was a great idea. So did several other people, and I hope that we’ll […]

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A Dance with Tradition: The Makioka Sisters

Posted December 9, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 30 Comments
A Dance with Tradition: The Makioka Sisters

Junichiro Tanizaki, The Makioka Sisters (1943) I’m not very well-versed in world literature, and when I do read works in translation they tend to be from Europe. But I really want to do something about that, and as I looked for great novels from other continents to broaden my horizons, The Makioka Sisters kept coming […]

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Tea and Philosophy: Diary of a Provincial Lady

Posted December 6, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 16 Comments
Tea and Philosophy: Diary of a Provincial Lady

E. M. Delafield, Diary of a Provincial Lady (1930) I’ve seen this book mentioned as a favorite by many, and lauded as a comic classic, and when a Folio Society edition came my way at a very reasonable price, I couldn’t resist. So I finally got to encounter the “provincial lady” and see what she […]

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Reading New England: Three plays by Eugene O’Neill

Posted November 25, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 2 Comments
Reading New England: Three plays by Eugene O’Neill

Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night (1941) Eugene O’Neill, Ah, Wilderness! (1933) Eugene O’Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten (1943) Before I embarked on the Reading New England challenge, I had no awareness of Eugene O’Neill as a Connecticut author. My experience of his plays was limited to a reading of Mourning Becomes Electra […]

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New Release Review: Unearthed

Posted October 14, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 6 Comments
New Release Review: Unearthed

Alexandra Risen, Unearthed (2016) Subtitled “Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden,” Unearthed is a gardening memoir that will appeal even to non-gardeners (like me). To start with, there’s the chance to vicariously experience taking an unloved, abandoned place and turning it into a magical place of refuge and healing — without having […]

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Reading New England: Swim That Rock

Posted September 27, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 6 Comments
Reading New England: Swim That Rock

John Rocco and Jay Primiano, Swim That Rock (Candlewick, 2014) Swim That Rock focuses largely on the most notable feature of Rhode Island’s geography: its coastline (which, as I mentioned in my state preview, covers almost 400 miles in a state less than 40 miles wide). And it dwells in loving detail on one of […]

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New Release Review: Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Posted September 23, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 8 Comments
New Release Review: Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Amy Stewart, Lady Cop Makes Trouble (2016) The second entry in Amy Stewart’s historical mystery series based on the real-life Kopp sisters is as compulsively readable and effortlessly enjoyable as the first. Constance Kopp has become the first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey — or thinks she has. But politics and a devious criminal […]

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New Release Review: The House by the Lake

Posted September 16, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 10 Comments
New Release Review: The House by the Lake

Thomas Harding, The House by the Lake (2016) Though it focuses on a single location — a simple lakeside house built by a prosperous Berlin doctor as a family retreat — this book takes us on a tour of an astonishingly volatile period in German history. As if in a time-lapse film, we watch what […]

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New Release Review: A Man of Genius

Posted June 3, 2016 by Lory in reviews / 6 Comments
New Release Review: A Man of Genius

Janet Todd, A Man of Genius (2016) What happens when an eminent scholar and biographer turns her hand to fiction? In the case of Janet Todd’s A Man of Genius, we get a highly distinctive, engrossing tale of mystery and madness, centering on a woman writer of one of those “horrid books” that were so […]

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