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Whistling Past the Graveyard

Whistling Past the Graveyard is a multi-layered saga that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. It has a cinematic quality that will make readers wish for a screen version. And you can’t say better than that.


The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

Swanson's writing is clean and measured, he throws in a ton of cliff-hangers, and he plays out his stolen identity concept – impossible in the age of Facebook, but how intriguing to remember how it wouldn't have been, 20 years ago – to thrilling, chilling effect.


Ripper

While there are many places where Ripper reads like a half-polished experiment, what lingers is Allende's generosity with fictional detail, her warmth and humanity.


Glitter and Glue: A Memoir

Corrigan writes with warmth and delicate humor about what in another time might have been called women’s concerns — raising children, marriage, female friendships, grown-up relationships with parents — much as Anna Quindlen and Anne Lamott , two writers with whom she often shares a stage.


All Joy and No Fun

Depressing as parts of this book may be, I appreciated the nudge to try to recognize joy in not just the milestone moments but the quotidian ones.


Carthage

A compassionate tenderness suffuses the final sections of the book, as palpable as the cold irony with which the book begins.


HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

After finishing “HRC” I understood, in a way I had not before, how and why the Clinton union has evolved into a juggernaut with such formidable “power to reward and punish.”


Dark Invasion

There are important lessons lurking here, but Blum misses most of them. Does it matter that the book is as insubstantial as a factory loaf of white bread?


The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

This tidy analysis fails to account for the fact that Greater Appalachia’s cultural characteristics — and the exploitation of its people — date back to the middle decades of the 18th century


The Secret History of Las Vegas: A Novel

“The Secret History of Las Vegas” brings an admirably global perspective to the crime novel.


After I'm Gone

Like everything else Lippman has written, “After I’m Gone” transcends the limits of genre. Like George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane and a handful of others, she writes books that are great fun but also serious fun.


Alena: A Novel

“Alena” proves itself an intriguing and substantial novel on its own merits, while still offering the kind of gothic plunge we remember and crave from our younger years.


Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel
The New York Times : Second Shot (February 06, 2014)

In her new novel — a comedy in the style of Austen rather than a tragedy in that of McCarthy — she ultimately offers her heroine a life that amounts to much, a way to save both herself and someone else.


HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

The portrait of Hillary Clinton that emerges from “H R C” is that of a woman with “a bias for action,” in one source’s words, someone who would rather act than be passive in the face of opportunity.


The Queen's Bed

Whitelock, whose previous book was an excellent biography of Mary Tudor, demonstrates her understanding that readers are at heart voyeurs, filling her “intimate history” with countless such details, both juicy and distasteful.


Love Illuminated
The New York Times : Mash Notes (February 10, 2014)

It suggests that even in this rotten modern world — famously short on certitude, peace or even a non-maddening chore rotation — it is still possible for two people to be true to each other.


Dept. of Speculation
The New York Times : Bridled Vows (February 07, 2014)

It would be interesting to read the other story to this marriage, to know more of the husband, the father — but Offill still makes it seem as if the wife’s version of the marriage is story enough and, perhaps, the only story that matters.


Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage

Swift succeeds in showing a young couple united by a degree of class resentment and a political understanding of how their apparent ordinariness could spark a sense of sympathetic identification in the mass of voters who would eventually form Nixon’s “silent majority.”


Sex After . . .: Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes
The New York Times : Passages (February 07, 2014)

Throughout, she misses the truly mysterious contours of the sexual self in which lines are continuously drawn, blurred, erased and drawn again.


Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

Johnson’s impressive work at commandeering this brain system to rehabilitate failing partnerships is an important contribution to those lost in the thicket of unhappy pair-bonding.