books

The Goldfinch is my first experience reading Donna Tartt. The title refers to a painting by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius, the greatest Old Master you've never heard of-- Rembrandt's pupil, Vermeer's teacher. Fabritius was killed when a gunpowder explosion destroyed half the town of Delft and all but a handful of his paintings.

Theo Decker is 13 years old when he sees "The Goldfinch" in contemporary New York City. In fact, the same day he first sees the painting, he takes it as he escapes from the bombed museum where it had been exhibited.

TheeErin / Flickr / Creative Commons

The title of Rhidian Brook's new novel, The Aftermath, refers to the years immediately following World War II.

The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman begins in 1963 with the Kessler Family spending their annual vacation at a lake cabin rental in Maine.

Wikipedia

Your bookshelf might not seem interesting at first glance, but it has a strange history that might surprise you.

Ever since books began phasing out scrolls in the 1st century AD, they've needed a place to rest.

During the first 1,400 years of the book's existence, people managed to arrange them in just about every conceivable way other than today's current format.

They've been packed away in large trunks. On shelves, they've been piled horizontally or with the spines up, down, or backwards.

Book Review: Someone

Sep 23, 2013

Alice McDermott's new novel, Someone, focuses on an Irish Catholic family living in Brooklyn.

When Lee Sandlin was a young boy growing up in Chicago, each summer he was dropped off at the family home in Edwardsville, Ill., to stay with two great-aunts and two great-uncles. Sandlin describes his time there as a boot camp in old-fashioned values.

Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson is set in a sleepy university town a couple hours outside of New York City. The novel has a familiar cast of characters: an author, a book critic and the women who loved them.

I have a difficult time with books that require the reader to suspend disbelief. In fact, I avoid them. But not if the author is Andrew Sean Greer.

Book Review: Fin & Lady

Jul 1, 2013

Cathleen Schine's journey to becoming an author included brief stints in medieval history and shoe buying at Bloomingdale's. Not a likely trajectory toward a profession as a novelist, especially since she turned to writing as a fall-back career.

Set in New York City in the 1920s, The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is told from the viewpoint of Rose Baker, an unremarkable woman raised in an orphanage by nuns.

Pages