Author Archive

July 23, 2011

The Talented Mr Ripley: Patricia Highsmith

by Suzanne

A brilliant psychological thriller and one of the best crime novels of the 20th Century. Highsmith is a masterful storyteller and has written an insanely readable book. A supremely stylish page turner with one of the most wonderfully amoral protagonists of all time. 

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July 23, 2011

So Long See You Tomorrow: William Maxwell

by Suzanne

Born in Illinois in 1908 and Fiction Editor at the New Yorker for almost 40 years William Maxwell was one of the true greats of American literature.  This is not a happy story by any stretch of the imagination but this is a heartbreaking book of great beauty and subtlety. A meditation on memory, grief, loss, guilt and regret, all human emotion is here (just not the happy ones!).  At a mere 153 pages this is a small, flawless gem of a novel.

July 23, 2011

The Time of our Singing: Richard Powers

by Suzanne

A richly layered multi-generational tale talking about race in America, this is a big book talking about big themes. Despite its size and scope Powers has written an intensely beautiful and intimate story, heartbreaking too. If Jonathan Franzen deserves the accolades here in the UK then Richard Powers most certainly does. He is in my opinion one of the very best writers in America today and deserves a wider audience here.

February 21, 2011

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

by Suzanne

This account of what happened to a Syrian-American man and his family after Hurricane Katrina is a powerful indictment of Bush-era policies. Good Samaritan Abdulrahman Zeitoun has stayed on the city using his canoe to navigate the deeply flooded streets, rescuing survivors and feeding trapped dogs. When the National Guard arrive and arrest Zeitoun the nightmare that ensues is both devastating and brutal. The story will make you angry and leave you in disbelief  but you will be inspired by Zeitoun’s dignity and selflessness in the face on such a terrible turn of events.

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October 22, 2010

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

by Suzanne

A collection of 18 short essays devoted to the author’s life long love affair with books and language. Anne Fadiman gives a voice to the many delights that come with loving books. Eloquent and wise, a beautiful book and a must for all pathological book lovers.

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October 22, 2010

Inglorious: Joanna Kavanna

by Suzanne

A tragic comic novel and the funniest account of a nervous breakdown I’ve ever read. In a mock heroic quest for life, successful, dynamic Rosa packs in her job and leaves her settled life but her bid for freedom from the chains of everyday life turns into a blackly funny fall from grace. Kavanna has a truly original voice, a sharp, funny commentary on modern day life.

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