The unsung life of a famous painter

Award-winning author Steve Stern has a new novel out called "The Village Idiot." It creatively recounts the life of the renowned early 20th century Russian-French artist Chaim Soutine, whose paintings now reside in art institutions around the world. The story powerfully imagines the inner life of this genius. Here's a review.

“Treacle Walker” and “Oh William!”

The National Book Foundation announced their longlist for the 2022 National Book Awards this week. (This post isn't about that. I just wanted to tell you.) They have several categories beyond fiction and nonfiction, all of which you'll find on their website. Meanwhile, I'm still closing in on the Booker Prize nominees. They're down to the six finalists, including these two.

Reading the 2022 Booker Prize longlist

There’s much to be excited over in this upcoming fall season's literary line-up: Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, Elizabeth McCracken are some of the authors coming out with new books. More on those later. Meanwhile, the Booker Prize is in full swing with its longlisted nominees, a great selection this year. Here are a few you might want to consider reading.

Catching up on my nonfiction reading

Nothing better than reading a good book on the porch at night with a breeze and the cicadas. Three books from my TBR table are now in the mix, all nonfiction and varied in topic. One was a finalist for the nonfiction 2021 National Book Award. The other two are “finds” that called to me. Take a look. Maybe there’s something here for you and your reading during these dog days of summer.

2022 Dublin Literary Award winner and finalists

Last month, Ireland's Dublin City Council announced the winner of its annual literary award. Nominations for this award come from public libraries around the world, which means the longlist of contenders offers readers an exciting wealth of books to browse in search of next reads. Here's what I chose for myself, and why so few. Plus, the winner, which I loved.

Lost man at sea, lost novel recovered

"Gentleman Overboard" by Herbert Clyde Lewis published in 1937 slipped into forgotten books land as so many good books do (and shouldn't) until it was rescued. It's the story of Henry Preston Standish, who finds himself floating in the Pacific Ocean, sure the ship he fell off of will turn around and pick him up. It's ingenious tragicomedy with an objective. You've got to read it.

New discoveries for spring reading

I was pretty excited to discover Audrey Schulman published a new novel. I loved her last book, “Theory of Bastards,” which gets a praiseworthy blurb on the new book’s cover. You’ll find more about both in this new blog post. Also, a novel about a wealthy couple in 1920’s New York City whose phenomenal fortunes create a mystery. And then an Appalachian novel about ecoterrorism.