When I was a child, my favorite sick day treat was Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, with Kraft cheese, on Wonder bread. It was warm and comforting and I would dip the sandwich into the soup and feel much better. I tried that exact combination a few weeks ago, when I was feeling terrible and also nostalgic. Sadly, the memories did not live up to the reality.
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.
David Gilbert’s novel & Sons is about a somewhat reclusive author who has written a book that has captured the imaginations of readers through the decades, much like J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye.
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.