Books

The Marriage Pact

What a strange (and disturbing) book! It’s one of those novels that grip my attention and refuse to let go — so I feel compelled to read to the end — and yet I certainly can’t say that I enjoyed… Read More ›

Ready Player One (the book)

Flashback to two months ago: apparently I was the only living person who hadn’t yet heard of Ernest Cline’s Ready, Player One. Now everyone has heard of it, since Spielberg’s film adaptation has just opened. As I’m not going to be seeing… Read More ›

The Chalk Artist

I know the characters in this novel. Not literally, of course. But it feels as if I know them. Local author Allegra Goodman brings her characters to life as real people. I’m sure it helps that so many of them are like… Read More ›

The Body in the Casket

A cleverly worded summary of The Body in the Casket could easily lead you to think that it was describing an Agatha Christie mystery. As you can tell from the image of the cover, it’s actually a Katherine Hall Page mystery, not… Read More ›

John Green

At the recommendation of several of my students, I recently read two of John Green’s YA novels: The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down. Verdict: Generally very positive. In particular, Green convincingly presents both the characters and their issues. The… Read More ›

Shadow of the Lions

Thirteen years ago [has it really been that long?] I wrote an essay called “Literature & math: imaginary gardens with real toads.” The phrase following the colon quotes from Marianne Moore’s characterization of poetry, but I was connecting it with math in… Read More ›

Y is for Yesterday

So we’re down to Y. Just one more to go. As I’ve previously reviewed some of the other novels in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series, I should write something about this one as well. I listened to the audiobook this time,… Read More ›

It’s Complicated

I almost never write about a book that I didn’t or couldn’t finish, unless there’s just something egregious about it. Some people, of course, feel a sort of moral obligation to finish reading any book they’ve started, but life is… Read More ›

The Puffin of Death

Puffins? OK, I guess, but I’m not really into birds, though my colleague from Newfoundland probably approves of puffins. Despite the usual connection with Newfoundland, the puffins in this mystery are actually in Iceland. And therein lies most of the… Read More ›