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Anything That Moves Me

Two Best Books I Read This Year--or Ever!

I'm a reluctant member of Goodreads and other amateur book reviewing and rating sites, including Amazon. Maybe it's my age, although I think it's more about temperament. One of the best things about graduating from college (English major) was never having to write a research paper again, or a "book report." And that's what these sites feel like to me: a class assignment.  Read More 
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Recommended Novel: Louisa Meets Bear

Louisa Meets Bear: Linked StoriesLouisa Meets Bear: Linked Stories by Lisa Gornick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Generous, Compassionate, Beautifully-Written Novel of Linked Stories

Lisa Gornick's third published novel, Louisa Meets Bear, is that trickiest of formats: a collection of "short" stories (some novella-length) that are linked through connections between some of the characters.  Read More 
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Review of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth, published in 1905, is Edith Wharton's first major work of fiction, and it established her reputation as a brilliant novelist and harsh critic of her society. Because I came to it after reading The Age of Innocence, which shows Wharton at the height of her power, I can't help giving Mirth four stars, where Innocence rated five.  Read More 
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Review of Swamplandia by Karen Russell

Swamplandia!Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


We don't really need another three-star review of Karen Russell's Swamplandia! Most of what I have to say about the book has been said wittily and well by other reviewers. But after mulling over my reaction to this critically acclaimed but, for many ordinary readers, disappointing book, I feel it epitomizes the problem of today's publishing world.  Read More 
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Beautiful Metaphors, Ugly Memoirs

Colm Toibin, in a review of a biography of E.M. Forster, derided the idea of the "honest novel" (as the biographer, Wendy Moffat, described Forster's Maurice): "novels should not be honest. They are a pack of lies that are also a set of metaphors … they are not forms of self-expression, or true confession."  Read More 
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