Tag Archives: book

Book review “Washington Square”

Novelist Arthur Phillips describes “Washington Square” by Henry James as “a very modern novel indeed: all questions, no answers,” which is exactly right. This novel’s plot is fairly simple and easy to follow; its language, while at times antiquated and erudite, is not very difficult to decipher or understand. Its length is average: a little

“The Weird Sisters” provides a delightful, Shakespeare inspired read

While the title of Eleanor Brown’s “The Weird Sisters” instantly evokes pictures of the three haggard crones from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” Brown’s three sisters, three women in their 30s from a tiny Midwestern college town, are decidedly less imposing, and Brown’s story is definitely more of a contemporary fiction than a Shakespearean fantasy. The sisters do,

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

I’ve never enjoyed reading myths, perhaps because they’re just that — myth — and meant for people to pass on through oral tradition rather than the written word. The bare-bone prose, often without descriptive detail, character depth, or dialogue, always leaves me somewhat bored and unsatisfied, even as I recognize that these are some of

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” explores relationships and emotions in YA lit

There’s even more hype than usual surrounding Young Adult literature author and internet sensation John Green as the June 6, 2014 release date for the movie adaptation of his best-selling novel “The Fault in Our Stars” approaches. Although I loved “The Fault in Our Stars” and consider it one of his best novels, I would

Diana Wynne Jones’s “Charmed Life” pioneers themes of the fantasy genre

“Charmed Life” is the first installment in beloved fantasy writer Diana Wynne Jones’s Chrestomanci series, which marries the British tradition of stories about orphans sent to live at the estates of wealthy relatives with a story of young witches and wizards growing into their magic. “Charmed Life” was first published in 1977, but I only

Kingsolver’s debut novel “The Bean Trees” tackles issues of oppression

I once began reading Barbara Kingsolver’s signature novel, “The Poisonwood Bible,” but I abandoned it after just a few pages. I felt sure that a lengthy book about an exceptionally dysfunctional family would only depress me. But after reading just a few pages in Kingsolver’s first novel, “The Bean Trees,” I knew I was in

Mah describes childhood in “Falling leaves”

In her book “Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter,” Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots just as the old Chinese proverb foretells.  She tells the riveting story of growing up ensnared in a rich and dysfunctional Hong Kong family, while also giving a fascinating chronicle of twentieth-century Chinese history. Mah tells