A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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User Mrs Margaret report user

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New York, NY, USA

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about Colm Toibin 2011-09-01 10:31:49

Brooklyn. I thought it read like a novel geared for an adolescent--had to turn to the flyleaf to see if it had won the Newbury Prize for young adult fiction.

about Barack Obama 2008-07-30 23:20:09

"Dreams from My Father" is a must-read, no matter what you think about Obama's politics. This would be a wonderful book and memoir even if he weren't running for president. He is a wise observer of the human condition and is a more articulate person than we have ever seen running for office. Add to that a dash of lyricism and poetry in his observations. All those who say that they don't know what he's about because all they hear are slogans should read this book.

about Steven Millhauser 2008-07-30 23:11:01

All I remember about "Martin Dressler," besides wondering how it ever won the Pulitzer Prize, was the use of the term "irritating" on just about every page. Open the book at random and you will see it.

about Geoff Nicholson 2007-02-20 22:30:51

"Bleeding London" features, among other things, a character who decides to walk every street of London. The plot itself is not so strong, but it hardly matters because Nicholson has wonderful powers of observation and imagination. Very enjoyable read.

about Louis Begley 2007-02-20 22:28:30

"About Schmidt" is an elegant but comic novel that examines a middle-aged man's frame of mind. I found the absence of quotation marks (the ones that normally represent direct dialogue) an interesting literary tool: sort of like a scrim onstage--the conversation appears to be just a tad blurry and impressionistic, as if it's coming from somewhere else instead of the banal present.

about E. Annie Proulx 2007-02-20 22:22:02

"The Shipping News" is a wonderful place to start. Such inventive use of language--sometimes I wasn't sure whether I was reading prose or poetry. I liked "Accordion Crimes" until about 2/3 way through, when an orange cat's killing is described in detail.

about Marly Swick 2007-02-20 22:14:02

"Paper Wings" is a beautiful coming-of-age novel.

about Dana Spiotta 2007-02-20 21:57:45

In both Dana Spiotta's "Eat the Document" and Sigrid Nunez's recent "The Last of Her Kind," you will be taken back to the radical protest movements of the late sixties and early seventies and then whipped back to the present to learn some of the consequences of--as well as present-day variations on--those movements. Both novels feature engaging characters and are worthwhile reads.

Title Comments

about Jack by A. M. Homes 2008-03-16 21:11:52

Coming-of-age novel with a twist. I loved all the characters. Always funny, always poignant.

about The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter 2008-03-16 21:06:47

At 654 pages, it's about twice as long as it should be. It was gripping at first and then became tedious. Here and there, I found quotable passages, but overall, am sorry to have spent so much time on it.