Source: Personal Collection

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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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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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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Four books to feed the spirit

Posted May 14, 2017 by Lory in brief reviews, reviews / 10 Comments
Four books to feed the spirit

Everyone has an individual way of dealing with all the bad things going on in the world. For me, it’s very important to stay connected to a spiritual point of view, which helps to restore perspective, awaken hope, and foster joy and gratitude in the face of darkness and despair. In fact, it’s been a […]

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Trying to Understand Part 3: Strangers in Their Own Land

Posted May 7, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
Trying to Understand Part 3: Strangers in Their Own Land

Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land (2016) This is part 3 in an ongoing series exploring books that address the current political, social, and economic situation in the US. Part 1: The Unwinding  Part 2: Dark Money When sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild set out to explore what she calls the Great Paradox — […]

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Towers in the Mist

Posted April 23, 2017 by Lory in events / 12 Comments
Towers in the Mist

Elizabeth Goudge, Towers in the Mist (1937) This book is offered in a giveaway open through April 26. Click the link to enter! Oxford has changed much in the eighty years since Elizabeth Goudge lived there, and even more since the sixteenth century. Yet it still bears within it the weight of its long history, […]

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Trying to Understand Part 2: Dark Money

Posted March 19, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 8 Comments
Trying to Understand Part 2: Dark Money

Jane Mayer, Dark Money (2016) As my highly non-political brain tries to grasp what is really behind the political and social upheavals of our time, I’m grateful for the books that are helping to give me some insight into these difficult and complex topics. Such a book was the first entry in this series, The […]

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New Release Review: One Part Plant

Posted March 7, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
New Release Review: One Part Plant

Jessica Murnane, One Part Plant: A Simple Guide to Eating Real, One Meal at a Time (2017) I’m not a fan of the term “vegan,” which sounds like its adherents come from another planet, nor of defining an eating style based solely on what it doesn’t include. So Jessica Murnane’s positive, joyous approach to “plant-based” […]

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A Regency puzzle: Troy Chimneys

Posted February 15, 2017 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
A Regency puzzle: Troy Chimneys

Margaret Kennedy, Troy Chimneys (1952) I’ve just finished Troy Chimneys, and already I want to read it again. This is partly to try to puzzle out the chronology, which is confused by a complicated multi-layer structure of diaries and letters bandied back and forth between various generations of different families — but it’s also because […]

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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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