Becoming Nora

Book Review of "Nora Webster" by Colm Tóibín. Everyone loved Maurice Webster. While she was married to him, Nora lived quietly in his shadow. Then he fell ill, and as his death approached, Nora was totally devoted, practically ignoring her sons and daughters in order to care for him. Now that he's gone, Nora has … Continue reading Becoming Nora

Trying Youth

Book Review of "Campari for Breakfast" by Sara Crowe. Sue Bowl has been through a lot more in life than most 17-year-olds have. Her mother, Buddleia, committed suicide, and not long after that, her father took up with another woman. Buddleia's sister, Aunt Coral, was still mourning the loss of their father when Buddleia took … Continue reading Trying Youth

The Last of Will and his Testament

Book Review of "Will" by Christopher Rush. Biographies can often be terribly boring, academic tomes that find interest only to those fascinated by the subjects. Autobiographies can be terribly indulgent works that leave out anything negative about the person. In general, it is far more fun to read fiction. What makes this book different is … Continue reading The Last of Will and his Testament

Capturing Memories for Eternity.

Book Review for "I Stopped Time" by Jane Davis. When Lottie Pye died at the age of 108 she left her whole collection of thousands of photographs to her son James, who she hadn't seen in almost 80 years. When James happens upon Jenny Jones, a University student studying photography, he decides to let her … Continue reading Capturing Memories for Eternity.

The Other Side of a Journey

Book Review for "The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy" by Rachel Joyce. Readers of Joyce's debut novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will know Queenie Hennessy, or at least know of her. She is the woman Harold Fry worked with, who is dying of cancer. When Harold Fry gets the letter telling him … Continue reading The Other Side of a Journey

The Army for Enlightenment

Book Review for "The Brotherhood of Book Hunters" by Raphaël Jerusalmy. Author Jerusalmy introduces this book as follows: "Born at the end of the Middle Ages, François Villon is the first modern poet. He is the author of the famous Ballad of the Hanged and Ballad of Dead Ladies. But Villon was also a notorious … Continue reading The Army for Enlightenment

My 5 Favorite Books of 2014

2014: The Year of the Curmudgeon!   Looking back over this past year, it seems that almost all of my best-loved books that came out in 2014 featured protagonists who are, essentially, grumpy old men. While they hardly ever stop frowning, reading about some of them will certainly put a smile on your face (or … Continue reading My 5 Favorite Books of 2014

Abandonment and Devotion

Book Review of "Neither Here Nor There" by Miriam Drori. Esty is 19 and unmarried, and that's practically an "old maid" in Jerusalem's Haredi (ultra-orthodox) community. However, the reason she hasn't agreed to marry anyone is that she knows the Haredi life is not for her. Once she's married, she might be trapped forever. Gathering … Continue reading Abandonment and Devotion

The Making of a Remarkable Woman

Book Review for "The Boston Girl: A Novel" by Anita Diamant. Addie Metsky (nee Baum) was born in Boston to Jewish immigrants in 1900. She's now 85 and her granddaughter Ava wants to know how she became the woman she is today. This is her story, and it will surprise you. I'm quickly becoming a … Continue reading The Making of a Remarkable Woman

A Mother and a Mystery

Book Review of "The Perfect Mother" by Nina Darnton. When Jennifer Lewis gets a call from her daughter in the middle of the night, she knows something has gone terribly wrong. Now she has to go to Spain to free her daughter of murder charges, and it could take everything in Jennifer's power to save … Continue reading A Mother and a Mystery