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Marilynne Robinson: Gilead

I have put off reading this book for years.  It’s not that it didn’t interest me.  On the contrary, I’ve pulled it off the shelf many times.  But I always put it back, knowing I would get to it someday.  Well, after reading and loving Marilynne Robinson’s first novel Housekeeping,…

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Philip Roth: I Married a Communist

After binging on Philip Roth, reading seven of his books over a period of a few months, I haven’t read anything by him since October.  Partly that’s because I’m reading his Zuckerman books in order and the next book on my list was I Married a Communist (1998); I’ve been much…

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National Book Critics Circle Forum

The finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction have been announced. Click on the link on the left-hand side and help create a conversation about the finalists.

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Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary

I know: I’m way behind here.  Consistently lauded as one of the two or three greatest novel of all time, frequently the precedent to whatever book I’m reading (can one write about adultery without some root in Madame Bovary?), but I thought I knew everything about it because it’s one of…

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Tribeca with Joseph O’Neill

This post will be a bit different only because I was away tonight and unable to polish off a review.  However, I was away on official book enjoyment business, so I think a brief post about my delayed review is appropriate. Those of you who read my blog during this…

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Imre Kertész: The Pathseeker

Over the summer I read Imre Kertész’s Auschwitz trilogy (tetralogy if you don’t rely on English translations): Fatelessness, Kaddish for an Unborn Child, and Liquidation.  However, the first Kertész book I bought was The Pathseeker (A nyomkeresö, 1977 ; tr. from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson, 2008).  For some reason, though,…

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Imran Ahmad: Unimagined

Over the Christmas holidays I was extremely fortunate to win one of Dovegrey Reader’s giveaways from the dovesleigh (and from comment spot No. 1, I should add – what are the odds?).  The result was a personalized copy of Imran Ahmad’s memoir Unimagined (2007, UK; 2008, US).  It arrived at…

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Derek Walcott: Omeros

A few years ago I had the good fortune of hearing Mr. Walcott read a portion of his book-length poem Omeros (1990)  in person.  He has an incredible voice – soft and deep – and the beautiful language really struck me.  I bought the book and began to read it, though when it…

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Graham Greene: The End of the Affair

After warming up to Greene with The Tenth Man and The Quiet American I have wasted very little time figuring out what else he’s written that I should read.  I know that Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, and The Power and the Glory are musts, and I also…

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Robert Penn Warren: All the King’s Men

There are those books out there that one hears of frequently but has no desire to read.  All the King’s Men (1946) was one of those for me.  Nevertheless, one day my interest was piqued by the “Restored Edition” put together from the original notes by Noel Polk, textual editor of the…