Book Review: The Dutch House

Ann Patchett is a member of American literary royalty, so I am probably not going to say anything surprising in this review.  I recently listened to The Dutch House in preparation for recording a podcast episode.  I will admit that it started a little slow.  However, since it was read by Tom Hanks, I stuckContinue reading “Book Review: The Dutch House”

Book Review: Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

I approach Austen fan fiction cautiously.  Sometimes it is quite good, but there are many cringeworthy examples out there.  Happily for readers, Miss Austen takes a more original turn than most.  Hornby imagines a possible answer to a question that tortures the Austen aficionado… “Why did Cassandra burn the letters?”  Okay, I am assuming sheContinue reading “Book Review: Miss Austen by Gill Hornby”

Book Review: Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris

Act of Oblivion is upmarket historical fiction at its best. Harris has taken an interesting event from the past, used real historical characters who disappeared from the record and made up others, to craft a story that is gripping and thought provoking. Edward Whalley and William Goffe were real officers for the Cromwell side during theContinue reading “Book Review: Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris”

Title List for Fall Episodes of the Read Like a Writer Book Club

This season, we will discuss even more books! We are exploring three elements that writers have questions about: Narrators, Agency and Power dynamics, and Secrets—how to keep and reveal them at just the right moment. Take a listen to the shorty episode for booktalks on the titles and get thee to a library or bookshop!Continue reading “Title List for Fall Episodes of the Read Like a Writer Book Club”

Book Review: My Mother’s Secret by Alina Adams

This followup novel to Nesting Dolls is basically strong, and the setting is a place that many American readers may not be familiar with, the Soviet attempt at creating an “autonomous” Jewish homeland.   The novel opens with Regina, our heroine, on the train escaping from the Soviet secret police by traveling without papers to Birobidzhan,Continue reading “Book Review: My Mother’s Secret by Alina Adams”

The Quiet Americans by Scott Anderson

Journalist Scott Anderson has brought us a new entry to the recent riches of Cold War Nonfiction, as records are declassified and writers and historians begin searching the archives.  Told from the point of view of four different American spies, The Quiet Americans traces the Cold War from its origins in the aftermath of WorldContinue reading “The Quiet Americans by Scott Anderson”