Books Category

I read a book about the Russian Revolution!

The only history class I took in college (aside from economic history classes, which don’t count) was one in “Early Modern Russian History,” which ended with Catherine the Great’s reign in 1796. Other than that, all my knowledge of Russia comes from reading fiction: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Chekhov, all the way up to Solzhenitsyn and […]

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Finished THE BETROTHED

THE BETROTHED was so good! It’s almost a perfect novel. It feels so confident and well-executed. Perhaps the only negative thing about it is also the best thing, which is that it feels in the beginning as if it’s going to be an adventure novel (a la The Count of Monte Cristo) about outwitting the evil Don […]

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WRAP UP SEASON 2016: The ten books I liked best this year

This year’s been a good one for reading. I started it out as part of the jury for an award, which consumed my reading for the first few months. Then I got kind of depressed and couldn’t really read anything: I just had no taste for books anymore. But somehow Proust was the only thing […]

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WRAP-UP SEASON 2016: These are all the books I blogged about this year!

You Will Know Me Abbot, Megan A Murky Business Balzac, Honore de The Girls Cline, Emma Girls In White Dresses Close, Jennifer Dombey and Son [2] Dickens, Charles The Lover Duras, Marguerite On The Island Garvis-Graves, Tracy Girl on the Train [2] Hawkins, Paula The New York Stories James, Henry The Bostonians James, Henry Daisy […]

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Anthony Trollope is SOOOOOOO good

Years ago, after finishing Trollope’s Barsetshire series (comedic stories, written in the 19th century, about the doings of rural clergy and gentry), I was like, “I want to try his other big series!” These are his Palliser novels, which deal with shit that’s way at the other end of importance: they’re all about big lords […]

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Am reading romance novels

I still don’t know how I’ve been enlisted in this unofficial book club, but my friend Erin Summerill has been giving me romance novels to read and then grilling me on my reactions. I’m actually not unhappy with this. I’ve always wanted to get into reading romance, because it feels a bit silly to have […]

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Finished listening to THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

What an interesting book. The thing I most enjoy about thrillers, usually, is their sense of control. That’s why for a week or two I was all about these locked room thriller movies. I really liked how they set up at the beginning the terms of the story: where you are, the number of characters, […]

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Am reading books again! And writing! And feeling pretty good about it

Until recently, the last print (and by print I mean text, as opposed to audio) book I finished was Balzac’s Eugenie Grandet, a month ago, on September 3rd. Since then I’ve done little reading. I finished an audio book. I read some comics. But no real “sit down and read this book” reading. What did I do instead? […]

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Reading DOMBEY AND SON

I’m reading Dickens. I cannot say exactly why this is. Just that about once a year I get an urge to read a Dickens novel, and since I’ve already read most of the popular ones (and some of the unpopular ones, like Little Dorrit), I’m now moving on to the truly obscure ones (in this case, Dombey […]

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Finished reading that huge new book, THE GIRLS

Just finished Emma Clines’s THE GIRLS, which is one of those phenom books: the author is 27 years old and apparently got a two million dollar advance. So, obviously, I was prepared to hate it. But I did not. In fact, the book is shockingly good. I’d go so far as to call it one […]

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