Category Archives: book reviews

A TASTE OF NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST AND NYT BESTSELLER BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK BY BEN FOUNTAIN

“…[G]iven the masculine standard America has set for itself it is interesting how few actually qualify. Why we fight, yo, who is this we? Here in the chicken hawk nation of blowhards and bluffers, Bravo always has the ace of … Continue reading

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James Purdy, Elizabeth Bowen, Muriel Spark: Memorial Day Reading

I often re-read The Nephew around or over Memorial Day weekend and have been responsible for friends reading it then. One scene has a sweater-clad character crossing the yards between houses on a gray, chilly Ohio Memorial Day, as so … Continue reading

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Michael J. Tucker novels Capricorn’s Collapse and Aquarius Falling

A fun story of mayhem with a sophisticated accountant protagonist enticed into dealing cocaine and laundering money. Think in terms of the ’twenties and alcohol prohibition, only this is the ’seventies and cleverly begins with a little break-in at the … Continue reading

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Washington Independent Review of Books: THE MAN WHO ASKED TO BE KILLED

I’m especially proud of the review of The Man Who Asked to Be Killed at The Washington Independent Review of Books because the reviewer, Philip K. Jason, is an emeritus English professor, a stranger to me. Since he taught at … Continue reading

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Goats, anyone?

I never gave goats a thought until last spring when I read Joyce Renwick‘s posthumous short-story volume In Praise of What Persists. A goat stars in the story “The Goat.”  “I kept finding the goat wandering in the dining room, or … Continue reading

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Jill Morrow’s Newport – “everything you need for literary escape”

It’s not that aging 1920s industrialist Bennett Chapman of Newport is haunted by ghosts, like the Cosmo Topper of Thorne Smith’s Topper novels (which led to the Topper movies and TV series). No, Newport’s Mr. Chapman isn’t haunted at all—he … Continue reading

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Anne Tyler: “She took the bowl of peas and brought it down on his head. It didn’t break, but peas flew everywhere.”

Meet Pearl, having supper with her little girl Jenny and her two teenage sons in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: “Jenny’s face was streaming with tears, but she wasn’t making a sound and Pearl seemed unaware of her. Cody cleared … Continue reading

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