Archives for category: reviews

Gathering work from Trevor’s previous four collections, this volume shows why his deceptively spare fiction has moved readers for generations.  Set in Ireland and England, Trevor’s tales are powerful even in their silences, showing the way the present is controlled by the past and the way past patterns shape the future.  His stories are timeless.


The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide by John McNally is an excellent resource for writers at all stages of their careers.  What makes this book truly unique is that McNally doesn’t pretend to have any definitive answers or tricks about how to get published or what it takes to be a writer.  Instead, he provides invaluable information about his experiences as an author and professor and allows readers to make decisions for themselves.  He uses humorous anecdotes from his own life to illustrate his points– from finding a suitable agent, to dealing with inevitable rejections– and he gives a more realistic picture of the writing life.  This book isn’t an instruction manual on how to write stories and it doesn’t provide inspirational prompts; it’s about the literary/publishing field and the reality of what it means to be a writer in this day and age, which is an invaluable resource.


Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards (Due out Jan 2011)

“Between jobs and in a foreign country, and without a formal commitment from the man
she’ s involved with, Lucy Jarrett returns to her family home in Upstate New York. Her
father’ s unsolved death still haunts her, and unsettled relationships within the family
make her uneasy.

Late one night, she discovers an old collection of letters that indicate the presence of a
mysterious woman in her family history. As she begins to piece the puzzle together, she
is able to link her family to the sufferage movement and discovers a secret that will have
repercussions on each member of her family.

A good read!”


This book is innovatively structured, with story-like chapters that revolve around music mogul Bennie Salazar, his skittish assistant, Sasha, and the secret lives of a host of other odd characters whose paths intersect.  It starts in San Francisco in the ‘70’s and scatters through time between then and now, in NYC, rural Africa, and Naples, Italy.  The stories are tangled together and part of the experience is in the uncoiling of them, like a puzzle.  The common thread throughout is the interplay of time and music, the mingling of art and life, and its transformative properties on all their lives. –Adele

Aimee Bender has crystallized the most enchanting elements of magical realism into a contemporary, heartbreaking narrative in her new novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. When nine year old Rose discovers that she can taste in her food the concealed emotions of whoever prepared it, she is initiated more intensely into the world of denial and familial tension than any young observer before her.  Her gift becomes a tortuous curse as she grows up and bears the burden of humanity’s hidden pain with every bite, excused not from the exhaustion of immigrant strawberry pickers nor the resentment and apathy of a teenaged delinquent pastry chef.  Bender’s ability to appeal to the delicacies of human emotion keeps this tale on the more accessible side of fantasy, echoing in a fresh voice the greats of magical realism from decades ago. –Joanna

Yesterday, Mary Roach’s new book Packing for Mars was reviewed in The New York Times.

To read the article Click Here

And don’t miss out on an opportunity to listen to her speak and get a signed copy of her book! Tomorrow night at 7:00pm!!

Newly nominated for the Booker Prize long list, this Australian author weaves a multiple narrative.  He masterfully explores the inner lives of eight people.  The local details describe a suburban city in contemporary Australia.  The author’s keen observations of his multi-cultured characters deal with male violence and its roots.  –Jane