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Anathem

I have a poly-cosmos of thoughts about this book. Through much of it, it felt the author was far to impressed with his own cleverness. At the end, though, I could see how the cleverness actually did work in the context of the narrative, but that didn’t fully wash away my annoyance. Much of the […]

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The Patron Saint of Liars

After reading “Bel Canto” for an earlier TBR challenge, I wanted to go back and read some of Patchett’s earlier books. This novel begins in the 1960s at a home for unwed mothers — St. Elizabeth’s — run by a group of nuns. Rose, a pregnant, devout Catholic, travels to the Kentucky refuge from California, […]

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Lolita

Almost as interesting to me as the book’s themes and Nabokov’s dazzling technique is the mystery of how I avoided it for several decades. I mean, it didn’t need any help in the allure department. But now that I am in full reverence mode for VN—reading his letters, poems, anything by and about the master—I […]

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Prodigal Summer

I loved this book! In 2002 I attempted to read the book and never got past Chapter One. I am a huge fan of Kingsolver’s other works – The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna – so I really wanted to give Prodigal Summer another try. I’m not sure what changed, […]

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The Piano Teacher

Set in Hong Kong during 1953 with flashbacks to WWII, the novel tracks the experience of European ex-pats in an exotic setting. The business day runs from 10 am-4 pm with a 2 hour lunch. However, when the Japanese invade and occupy the island, many of the Europeans find themselves interned. Chinese and Eurasians on […]

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