My Most Surprising Read of 2022

When I was going through all the “best books of 2022” prompts and lists, somewhere—and I can’t remember exactly where—I came across the question “What was your most surprising read of 2022?” Any other year that question probably wouldn’t have stuck with me because I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers and am therefore …

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book review

“The Hidden Machinery” by Margot Livesey

“I am using the phrase ‘the hidden machinery’ to refer to two different aspects of novel making: on the one hand how certain elements of the text—characters, plot, imagery—work together to make an overarching argument; on the other how the secret psychic life of the author, and the larger events of his or her time …

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book review

“What About the Baby?” by Alice McDermott

I don’t write fiction, but I do enjoy reading it. I also enjoy reading about the writing of fiction, because understanding the issues that writers consider about their writing process makes me a more competent reader and critic.  I grabbed this book when I saw it on the “Featured” shelf at the library. I was …

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Stack of books on left; notebook open to blank page with pen lying on top on the right

#TopTenTuesday 20 Pandemic Reviews I Have Yet to Write

(Feature photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash) Today’s assigned topic is Books I Loved So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library. But I don’t work that way. If I’m reading a library book, I take the notes I’ll need from the book before I return it. I don’t think just …

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book review

Review: “The Darkest Child” by Delores Phillips

Review The Darkest Child is a powerful novel you’ve probably never heard of, but it’s not for everyone. Set in the early 1950s in rural Georgia in the U.S., this novel presents a picture of life during the Jim Crow era, when formal laws and societal conventions reinforced racial segregation in the South. The story …

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feature: Life Stories in Literature

Reviews:  2 Books I Read in April

Introduction Here are two more novels I read in April. Since almost all of the books on my TBR shelf now relate to Life Stories in Literature, it’s not surprising that they share many of the same themes. In his 2020 novel The Boy from the Woods, Coben introduced Wilde, who had been found living …

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book review

2 Short Reviews

Falling by T.J. Newman Simon & Schuster, 2021Hardcover, 304 pagesISBN 978-1-9821-7788-1 When Bill Hoffman arrives at Los Angeles International Airport to pilot Coastal Airways flight 416 to New York, he expects a routine day. It’s not until the plane is in the air that he learns today will be anything but routine. When he receives …

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stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: 5 Effective Multiple-Perspective Novels

5 Effective Multiple-Perspective Novels

“There are many reasons I love novels with multiple narratives. In novels where the events are filtered through the consciousness of a single ‘reliable’ narrator, I often wonder; is this the whole story? What could be missing here? Truth is often a multiplicity of perspectives, and sometimes the more viewpoints and versions of events there …

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book review

Review: Encountering “1Q84” in the Time of COVID-19

Murakami, Haruki. 1Q84Trans. by Jay Rubin & Philip GabrielVintage, translation © 2011Trade Paperback, 1,157 pagesISBN 978-0-307-47646-3 Highly Recommended A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for …

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book review

Review: “The Dark Hours”

Connelly, Michael. The Dark HoursLittle, Brown & Company, © 2021Narrated by Titus Welliver, Christine LakinISBN 978-1-549-10763-4 Recommended There’s chaos in Hollywood on New Year’s Eve. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard seeks shelter at the end of the countdown to wait out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their …

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