Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

sweet-toothSometimes Ian McEwan works for me, sometimes he doesn’t. It’s kind of a crap shoot. With Sweet Tooth he works for me. That, no doubt, has to do with the setting – MI5 during the Cold War, 1970’s London, a young woman making her way in the big, bad city. And like the best of McEwan’s novels, it has a great ending. Continue reading

The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar J Mazzeo

hotel-place-vendomeI was going to Paris and wanted to read something set there to get me in the mood, so what better book than The Hotel on Place Vendome? The hotel being referred to is, of course, The Ritz and the book focuses primarily on The Ritz during the German occupation of Paris in World War II. Continue reading

Shriver by Chris Belden

shriverBetter late than never, right? Ok, so I read Shriver by Chris Belden a couple of weeks ago and I’m writing up my review now, so the detail may be lacking. Shriver is based on a promising premise: our Shriver is a reclusive man who is mistakenly invited to a writer’s conference as the American literary sensation SHRIVER (think Salinger) and of course he accepts. Hijinks, literary pretensions and a mystery ensue. Continue reading

#30Authors Presents Richard Alley on Memphis Movie

#30authors2015It’s September, and you know what that means? One of the biggest events to hit the Book-ternet – #30Authors! Continue reading

Outline by Rachel Cusk

Outline by Rachel CuskI read Outline by Rachel Cusk because I am seeing her, alongside Benjamin Wood, at the Edinburgh Book Festival (tonight!). I adored Benjamin Wood‘s first book, The Bellweather Revival, but I’m not so sure I can put Cusk in the same category. Continue reading

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha ArangoI was on a bit of a reading slump when I came to The Truth and Other Lies by German screenwriter Sascha Arango, and it fed my slump to the dogs. That means it was good. The story was crazy, but crazy good. Continue reading

DNF: The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew PearlI should have liked The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl, a historical novel about the illicit book trade between the United States and Europe. But I just couldn’t do it and it all comes down to one reason: style. There is a certain style with which some historical novels are written, and i just don’t like it. Here are some of the elements: Continue reading

Life Made into Fiction

It seems that lately truth is stranger, or at least more intriguing, than fiction. An outstanding number of books seem to have real people and real events at their core. It seems to be a recipe for success as well. Here are some of my favorite books based on real-life people. Continue reading

Adeline by Norah Vincent

Adeline by Norah VincentAnd the trend of bringing writers to life through fiction continues with Adeline by Norah Vincent. In a refreshing turn, this time we have a female writer – Virginia Woolf – front and center with her husband and other members of the Bloomsbury group playing a secondary role. Continue reading

The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi

The Last Word by Hanif KureishiIt’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Hanif Kureishi. In fact, i think the only thing I’ve read by him was the Buddha of Suburbia (brilliant, if memory serves). Along comes The Last Word and I thought, why not? Kureishi is a well-known satirist, and in this book he takes an aging, once-famous author to task. Continue reading