As Memorial Day approaches, it feels appropriate to post my review of Andrew Krivak's new novel, "Like the Appearance of Horses." I mentioned the book a month ago as a recommended read, so the title may sound familiar. The story is about a family in which a grandfather, father, and son participate in the World Wars and the U.S. Vietnam War. The focus is not on combat, but on the profound connection among those who experience war’s many dimensions. Here's why I recommend this novel.
Category: New Books
Three books I’m eager to read
If only I could read faster, but I’ve always been a slow reader. So many good books I see on my reading table, like stacks of travel brochures, and I want to go everywhere. I remind myself “bird by bird,” as Anne Lamott teaches us in her classic by the same title, adding these books to my already full reading life, stories of family secrets, the Troubles, and Nazi heritage.
A sylvan delight: “The Forest” by Alexander Nemerov
This new book, set during Jacksonian America, seduced me with surprising ease. Its impressive, sometimes dramatic, sometimes reflective episodic tales fascinate with their combined historic and invented characters from the 1830s. Here's a brief review.
Intriguing new books in fiction and nonfiction
A handful of reading opportunities to consider for different moods -- from mystery to epic drama, the Sistine Chapel to the Vietnam War. Two novels, two nonfiction, one crime mystery -- all recently published.
Three February books
A small selection with a broad range in topics, herein you’ll find a hard look at five literary marriages (heads up fans of Phyllis Rose’s "Parallel Lives") and Salman Rushdie’s new novel about a woman inhabited by a deity. Also, a book-length essay from one of my newest favorite translated authors, Nona Fernandez.
“Two Thousand Million Man-Power” by Gertrude Trevelyan
Gertrude Trevelyan is a British author whose novels were among the best published in the 1930s; however, they disappeared after her death in 1941. Today her work is being rediscovered, including this memorable novel that was first published to critical acclaim in 1937. It was one of my top favorites for 2022. Once forgotten, it now deserves lots of attention, even if I'm repeating myself. Here's a review.
A family Christmas and the wisdom in a soaring flock of birds
Lynn Steger Strong’s new novel “Flight” dissects the discord among family members gathered for Christmas at a sibling’s house in upstate New York. It’s told with riveting force. Here’s a review.
Rudolf Vrba’s escape from Auschwitz and an unputdownable whodunnit
Two very different books, both written with expert style and intrigue guaranteed to fascinate: "The Escape Artist" by Jonathan Freedland and "The Enigma of Room 622" by Joël Dicker. Here's what they're about and why they're so immersive.
Controlled perception: a 20th century tycoon’s life
Hernan Diaz's new novel "Trust" is getting a lot of attention, and it's not surprising. The book creatively embraces the distortions power and wealth enable, bending reality. It's a story that leaves its mark, long remembered after the last page. Here's a review.
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.
Paris’s 19th century institutionalized female hysterics
The Salpêtrière hospital in Paris functioned as a city within a city, an enclosed asylum for women whose nerves were shot. That's my modern speak for what then neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot termed hysteria. In "City of Incurable Women," author Maud Casey lets their stories be known. Read more about her new book here.
A psychological page-turner brilliantly crafted
A chance encounter at an airport and a delayed flight together offer the perfect opportunity for a man to tell the story of how he rescued a drowning swimmer and what came after, a story he’s never shared with anyone. Prepare to stay up all night (or to drop everything) to read “Mouth to Mouth,” Antoine Wilson’s newest novel, a story within a story that explores themes of deception and manipulation. Read the review here.
What I’m reading, plus promising new books
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.
What to read next: books now and to anticipate
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.
Books to anticipate this September: part two
More books this month promising page-turning and thoughtful involvement, from a mesmerizing story about genius scientists to a piercing narrative about a British Black woman’s climb up the corporate ladder. Here’s the second list of five (see part one), including a replacement for “City on Fire” by Don Winslow, who changed his mind about a September pub date (find out why).