Category Archives: Books

Book Review: The Sweet Dove Died

I’ve been reading mostly Shakespeare and Harry Potter lately, so haven’t had time to catch up on many new books. But I was recently able to finish a novel by the wonderful Barbara Pym, The Sweet Dove Died. I’ve written … Continue reading

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Shakespeare on the Train

I’ve been taking the train down to DC for work for three months now, and one of the pleasantly surprising side effects of this arrangement is the guaranteed block of reading time every morning. There’s something lovely about a good … Continue reading

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Life on the Mississippi

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book—a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it … Continue reading

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Anne of Green Gables: A Book Review

When I was young, the Anne of Green Gables novels were among my favorite novels. This hasn’t changed as I’ve gotten older. I’ve always been somewhat puzzled, however, by the fact that the books never seemed that popular among my friends back when I was … Continue reading

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Stiltsville: A Review

Miami conjures evocative pictures of color, allure, and drama, like Las Vegas on the water. Because of this, Susanna Daniels’ Stiltsville, set in Miami, is even more surprising. Stiltsville, to borrow again from Philip Larkin, is an “ordinary sane novel … Continue reading

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Excellent Women and Wonder Boys: Book Reviews

There’s a scene in the late stages of Excellent Women, a 1952 novel by the mostly-unknown English writer Barbara Pym, which made me laugh harder than I’ve laughed in a long time. In the scene, the heroine, Mildred Lathbury, is … Continue reading

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Then We Came to the End: A Book Review

After I read a good book, I Google it to see what the reviewers wrote. Ordinarily, I discover a general consensus. With Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris, the critics diverged. Either they found it a great … Continue reading

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Devil in the Grove: A Book Review

Over the past couple of years, two incidents in Florida have led many of us to reexamine the problem of racial violence in America. These incidents were the shootings of Trayvon Martin and, more recently, of Justin Davis. Of the … Continue reading

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A Pointless Post About the Art Form that is the English Aristocracy

I’ve been on a bit of a U.K. kick recently. The seeds of this were sown, I think, months ago, when NBC started showing English Premier League soccer on the weekends. The glorious accent of Arlo White had me hooked. … Continue reading

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Brooklyn: A Book Review

Tanner sips books; I inhale them. While Tanner pauses to re-read beautiful sentences multiple times, I rush happily along past those sentences, trying to fall more deeply and more viscerally into the story. For that reason, every time I open … Continue reading

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