Here you'll find stories to savor and characters you'll love so much you'll have to put the book down and walk away, to get ready, when things get tense. Also, a memoir about growing up on the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower 48 states, and a new novel I'm thinking may just be a spring break beach read.
Now reading: poetry, nature, true crime, and J.S. Bach
For too long, Ilya Kaminsky’s “Deaf Republic” sat on my reading table, a story told in poems that’s not only profound but now so very timely. Also in this blog post you’ll find a compelling mix of fiction and nonfiction, with authors writing about love for the natural world, truth in a murder investigation, and the St. Matthew Passion.
Books to anticipate this September: part one
The 2021 fall season is jam-packed with new books from favorite authors. It's a promising unleashing that will keep readers well stocked in good stories for themselves and their book clubs. One novel in this list has been described as “a plumber’s Mrs. Dalloway.” Who could resist that? Here you'll find five September books with five more coming soon, in part two.
A selection of new books
Here are a few titles I’ve gathered from my ongoing hunt for good books, including novels to anticipate in 2019, more Lucia Berlin stories, and the 2017 Prix Goncourt winner.
Finalists to talk about – and read
The Man Booker 2018 Longlist has produced a baker's dozen of novels readers can get excited about. Finally, they're back to what we want and expect.
An open house with poets
Why is poetry ignored by most Americans? And what if Jay Whitman read more poetry on the CBS drama "Madam Secretary"?
The books I gave this holiday season
Here are six books I selected and wrapped with a bow to surprise and delight my friends.
The time of your life
"Time Present and Time Past" is a slim novel about an ordinary man in Dublin, Ireland, who experiences hallucinations that warp his sense of time. It's a rewarding story with the message that time is much more than the thing we measure with clocks and calendars.
Run to Bethlehem
A Merry Christmas wish via poet W. H. Auden, whose "For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio" is available in a new edition from Princeton University Press. I so loved this discovery.
Tales from this antiquarian book shopper
Here's some insight into what can happen to a book lover in a giant room filled with exhibitors of used and rare books.
How a life blooms: the signposts of destiny
Molly Peacock's "The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72" is more than a great biography about an 18th century woman. It's a meditation on late-bloomers and the significance of choices made throughout one's life. Molly Peacock is an award-winning poet, and her "leaps of the poet's mind" transport us into wonderful places, real and profound.
Ah, Grendel! You’ve come back
John Gardner published "Grendel" in 1971, eleven years before his tragic death at age 49 in a motorcycle accident. The story is a spin-off taken from the medieval epic poem "Beowulf," giving us the viewpoint of the monster Grendel, whom the Scandinavian hero Beowulf slays. A rare acquisition of the book's ARC brought Gardner's novel to my attention again.
Some didn’t believe, some kept flying
Peter Sis' new book, "The Conference of the Birds," is based on an allegory about the search for divine truth written in the 12th century by a Sufi poet. It's richly illustrated and provides an encouraging story for the determined traveler.
A therapy of summer morning
"Give Over, Graymalkin" is Gaylord Brewer's eighth collection of poetry, but it's the first I've read of his work. Here's a glimpse into Brewer's new poems that take us to India, Spain and France, and also celebrate the "dead metaphors" of life.
Two from Canada, one from Billy
A collection of short stories by a Canadian author arrived in the mail this week, and I couldn't put it down. Then, I found my nose deep into Newfoundland territory as I read reviews about Michael Crummey's new novel. Amidst the Canadians, also, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. Here's what I know of these three upcoming books.