"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.
I’m deep into the fictional lives of Guy and Harriet Pringle in Olivia Manning’s classic trilogy, but I'm also looking forward to some interesting new books out this month and next. They include a novel narrated by a book (the narrator being Joseph Roth’s “Rebellion”), a small gem exploring 19th century women hysterics, a psychological thriller, a reissued story collection from the 1970s, and more. Read about the books here.
Here you’ll find an intriguing mix of fiction, memoir, and graphic nonfiction. One of the novels is by an internationally acclaimed Irish author. Another is by “the other Elizabeth Taylor,” a British author whose writing career unfortunately began just as the American Elizabeth Taylor came to fame in Hollywood. Her novels are considered to be a well-kept secret.
I'm betting you don't recognize these 20th century female authors. Each has faded into obscurity for different reasons, but now have renewed and much deserved attention. One wrote a bestseller, one wrote for The New Yorker, and one just couldn't get the critics to love her work. I'm under their spell. Here's what's captivating me.
What are you reading this summer? I’ve assigned myself carefully selected books as a nostalgic nod to those long-ago summer reading requirements for school. These novels, however, are much more exciting, no slogging through “Advise and Consent” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” Here’s the list, including plot summaries.
It’s an odd juxtaposition on my reading table: Kate Zambreno, who pushes the boundaries of literary form, next to the best-selling Andy Weir with his newest page-turning space odyssey. Such are my reading habits this month. I also just discovered a novel I must read based on comments by U.K. bloggers, which is also here, and more.
I'm hooked by this series where authors write about a book that influenced them, all the while sharing moving and memorable stories about themselves. Here’s a look at a new edition by Kim McLarin, plus a mention of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series, short books about albums.
Literary novels, a biography, a humorous memoir, a fable, and more. "What I want to tell you about is something quite different," says one character in these unforgettable books on this year-end list.
The permission of the holiday season is here. A classic novel, memoirs, confessions, and a search for Joseph Roth are now under my tree.
Hamnet died in 1596 when he was just a boy. His father immortalized his name in one of the most celebrated plays of all time. Maggie O’Farrell, in her stunning new novel, imagines what happened.
Often in conversation someone mentions an upcoming book club meeting, and they say they need help with suggested reading to take with them. Here's a list I created for a recent request.
How to read when my concentration is shot? I'm channeling Anne Lamott. Also, you'll find here novels by Shirley Jackson, TaraShea Nesbit, Alison Moore, Anne Enright, and Mick Herron.
Larry Heinemann won the 1987 National Book Award for fiction. It was a controversial upset. Here's why his story has stayed with me all these years.
I've captured here the novels I mentioned on NPR member station WOSU All Sides Weekend Books that aired November 8, 2019.
Thomas Tryon's "The Other" unnerved me the first time I read it when I was 16. It still creeps me out.