Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ludmila Ulitskaya, The Funeral Party

Ludmila Ulitskaya, The Funeral Party. A thin book like a play: a dying man lies motionless as all the people in his life enter and exit around him. The loss and confusion and remembered joys  overlap with the disintegration of the structure of the country they left behind. They loved it, they hated it, they fled it. They longed for it, they lived their lives in opposition to it, and they thought it would last forever.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Padraic Colum, The Golden Fleece

Padraic Colum, The Golden Fleece. Really nice retelling of Jason and the Argonauts and other stories from Greek mythology. Recommended to read out loud if you have a fan of the Percy Jackson books.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit

Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit. Loved it. Such a blast. TR is an honorary member of the family. Learned a ton about the progressive movement and the history of the american political system that I didn't know. So many fascinating people, lovingly rendered. Many imaginary coffee dates and dinner parties with the journalists, activists, politicians, and their families.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Charles Portis, True Grit.

Charles Portis, True Grit. The audiobook (from the humble audiobook bundle) read by Donna Tartt. Great adventure story, loving narration.

Zadie Smith, Changing My Mind

Zadie Smith, Changing My Mind: occasional essays. Smith's essays are always perfect. I will buy or borrow any magazine to read one, so a collection is a great pleasure.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Dave Eggers, The Circle

Dave Eggers, The Circle.  Eggers is entertaining, but this makes Swift seem the subtlest satirist. At least eight eyerolls per chapter. And the wise hirsute visionary Thoreau ex-boyfriend? Sheesh. Or I should say: Downvote. Unfriend. ☹ Frown.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Paul Harding, Enon

Paul Harding, Enon. Not the intricate elaboration of melancholy in Tinkers, but the excruciating corrosion of grief.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Daniel Pinkwater, Uncle Boris in the Yukon

Daniel Pinkwater, Uncle Boris in the Yukon. Shaggy dog stories. I laughed so hard. And read bits out loud to my long suffering family. "If one is going to grow up in a certain kind of family - I like to think of it as precivilized - it's a good thing to have some basis for understanding it early."