Twists, Turns, and Turgid Prose: Dicker Defies the Thriller Stereotype

I cannot imagine, during word association games, that the words “literary” and “thriller” find themselves grouped together particularly often. Most thrillers are specifically engineered as page-turners best enjoyed on a beach or a plane. It is a rare occurrence (i.e., it has quite literally never happened to me) to sit down with friends and discuss…

Zinovieff’s ‘Putney’: More Than a Millennial ‘Lolita’?

If art is intended to “disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed,” as they often say, then I’m clearly quite pleased with my current societal position, because Sofka Zinovieff’s Putney, undoubtedly a work of art, left me discomfited to say the absolute least. Putney opens in London’s swinging seventies, to a maelstrom of activity in…

The Heart’s Invisible Furies Sheds New Light on Ireland

When one conjures a mental image of Ireland, I’d venture to guess that green hills and Guinness are at the forefront. That’s how it was for me, until I caught wind of Ireland’s abortion referendum a month back and did some research into the country’s laws surrounding reproductive rights. It was by happenstance that, that…

Spook, But No Substance: Getting into ‘The Ghost Notebooks’

  When Belletrist first brought The Ghost Notebooks to my attention, I was enthralled. Having grown up going to the Catskills, where the book takes place, and being an avid fan of ghost stories, a book about a couple that takes over an historic house in the Catskills that becomes haunted sounded too good to…

Waffling Over Wolitzer’s ‘Female Persuasion’

I read The Interestings in 2014, and it has since held a firm position in my literary arsenal as an all-time favorite. Wolitzer’s ability to mimic the cadence of life [vacillating almost consistently between painful slowness and overwhelming speed, never fair or mild] made The Interestings the perfect book to read on a slow and…

A ‘Lullaby’ That Will Keep You Up All Night

            At risk of sounding repetitive [as I’ve already mentioned it here, here, and here], I love books by French authors. Though this is an obvious generalization, I do find that where Americans are concerned with elegant prose, the French write in a straightforward, relatable manner. When I read a book, I’m not looking to…

Move Over, Girl on the Train. The Woman is in the Window Now.

We may be just four months in to the year [despite the current East Coast weather throwing it back to February], but I can say with full confidence that I’ve already pinpointed 2018’s standout thriller. I read The Woman in the Window during a solo 16-hour layover in Los Angeles, and I paid no mind…

Fiction Favorite: The Immortalists

The Immortalists is a multi-generational family tale that takes place on New York’s Lower East Side between the 1960s and present day. The book’s premise, as per the jacket, is that four siblings hear about a fortune-teller in their neighborhood who is known for predicting the exact dates of death of those who visit her….

Teachers, Take Note: The Untold Story of the Osage Murders

Image Credit It’s no secret that non-fiction generally isn’t what I reach for when I’m browsing for books. I have dabbled in memoirs and biographies, but, in my [previous] opinion, political and historical tomes are best left in Miller, the college library where I consumed more than enough of them. This past spring, though, during…