The Magician King

The Magician King is the sequel to The Magicians, which I reviewed on September 1. As the second book in Lev Grossman’s trilogy, it follows closely after book #1 and appropriately leaves the reader hanging, waiting for #3. Darker and more mature than The… Read More ›

She Was the Quiet One

Is Odell Academy supposed to be Phillips Exeter Academy? All signs point to that, but there’s no direct evidence. Odell is the site of Michele Campbell’s new novel, She Was the Quiet One, a title that develops new meanings as you continue… Read More ›

Something Wonderful

You need the subtitle. The full name of the book is Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution, which gives you a pretty good picture of the subject of the book. As I grew up in the ’60s, I was… Read More ›

All or Nothing

Culture. Literature. Memoirs…. Are they all based on Folklore and Mythology? A classmate of mine majored in that field — or should I say it was his “field of concentration” rather than “majored”? I always thought it was surprisingly specific as a… Read More ›

The Magicians

No, not the television show, which I’ve never seen. Just the eponymous novel it’s based on. And no, I haven’t yet read the two subsequent novels in Lev Grossman’s trilogy, so there’s nothing about either of them here either. You’ll… Read More ›


I’m not quite sure how I feel about Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated. Comparisons with Hillbilly Elegy, which I did not like, are inevitable. The stories are actually quite different, as are the attitudes of the narrators. I had referred to J.D. Vance (author of… Read More ›

Super Boys

“It’s a man, it’s a bird…” OK, stop right there. You know what this is about. But maybe you don’t. The beginning of this thorough biography of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman, does indeed focus on their… Read More ›