Book Review for “Signed, Mata Hari” by Yannick Murphy. Margaretha Zelle, aka Mata Hari, was a woman who lived a strange and disjointed life, and died in disgrace, executed for her spying during the first World War. This historical, biographical novel describes her complex history from her early life in the Netherlands, to her loveless … Continue reading A Good Ghost.
Book Review of "One Red Paperclip" by Kyle MacDonald. Trading something seemingly worthless until you get something of real value might be a cheap trick, especially if it starts out with something as insignificant as a paperclip and ends up with a house. It may also seem like an impossible feat. However, that's exactly what … Continue reading What a Trader!
Book Review of "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan. Anyone interested in early 20th century architecture might recognize the name Mamah Borthwick Cheney as being the woman who was Frank Lloyd Wright's lover - for whom he left his wife and family, which caused a scandal that rocked not only Chicago's society, but also the world … Continue reading A Frankly Amazing Woman
Book Review of "Divisadero" by Michael Ondaatje. Here is a book for which it is almost impossible to write a plot synopsis. Like many of Ondaatje's other works, this doesn't have narrative that follows conventional literary patterns or rules. Although there is an overall linear aspect to the novel, the general feeling is more of … Continue reading Up Close and Undivided Attention
Book Review of "Notes from an Exhibition" by Patrick Gale. To try to describe the plot of Patrick Gale's novel "Notes on an Exhibition" is as difficult a task as to try to explain a piece of abstract art. In fact, this novel is less of a story than it is a portrait of a … Continue reading A Portrait of an Artist
Book Review of "How to Talk to a Widower" by Jonathan Tropper. Two years after Doug and Hailey were married, Hailey died in a plane crash, leaving Doug her home in the suburbs, her angry son who doesn't want to live with his father because of his new trophy wife, a large settlement from the … Continue reading Very Carefully, Apparently
Book Review of "Two Caravans" by Marina Lewycka Marina Lewycka's second novel Two Caravans (aka Strawberry Fields) is a classic romantic comedy: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. In this instance, there's a slight nod to a twist on "Pride & Prejudice" with Andrei from a rural, lower-class family and Elena from the … Continue reading A Berry Nice Book!
Book Review of "Chanukah Guilt" by Ilene Schneider. According to the book cover synopsis, "Rabbi Aviva Cohen is a 50-something, twice-divorced rabbi living a rather uneventful life in South Jersey. True, she has a family that is rather unconventional. And her first ex-husband is moving to her town. But her life takes a truly interesting … Continue reading Death Among the Dreidel Set