I often read as much about American politics as I do about the politics about my own country. Though it feels like I’m on the outside looking in when I read books like this, it to some extent feels closer than is comfortable as well.
my local independent bookstore called to inform me that my copy of the British Library’s (Tales of the Weird Collection) Chill Tidings had arrived. That made a Christmas in July post impossible to resist.
What drew me to this book initially was the simple fact that my local independent bookstore had it in stock and it was a mystery published in the late 1970s that was dubbed a classic.
The views of the river and the details of the water winding its way through the sleepy countryside makes the reader want to rent a boat immediately and get to any water close by.
Claire Boltwood is on such a trip across the country — driving herself and her father from Minneapolis to Seattle in a very nice car on some not very nice roads. Lewis describes not just the scenery but also the reality of flat tires, car repairs, getting stuck in mud, and unpleasant hotels.
This book goes beyond a road trip, because what it provides is more of a historical snapshot of what the roads and landscape were like over a half-century ago.
The real shining piece of this book is the ghost and the setting. The whole world of the opera house comes alive as the ghost wrecks havoc and extracts vengeance. This is a review of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra).
Reading correspondence is not quite the same as reading a novel, obviously, but it can be just as valuable when it comes to understanding a writer, their work, literature of the period, or the general customs of the time period. Writers writing about writing can be a very enlightening read. This is a review of Letters to a Young Poet.
This week I’ve decided to write a double review since both books are by the same authors and both are at least semi-autobiographical. This is a review of two books about the Fitzgeralds: This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned.
These two novels were written in 1942, before their author was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz where she died of typhoid. The novels and notes were kept in a suitcase and taken by her daughter when she fled from the Nazis during the war. After that, the suitcase remained unopened until 1998. This is a review of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française.