rebecca

Leaving (and Returning) Home by Rebecca

One of my favorite novelists is Louise Erdrich. I love the way she writes about families—with unflinching honesty, but also with empathy and sensitivity. In her novels, despair exists alongside hope, and even the most broken characters are always three-dimensional. In Jean’s Thompson new book The Year We Left Home, I’ve found the closest read-alike to Louise Erdrich, yet.

The Jane Austen Effect

A friend recently described my reading taste as “bell jar-ry,” which is spot-on. I typically like my fiction dark and dysfunctional. Domestic dramas with conflicted characters and gritty, unresolved endings are my preference—most of the time. But every so often, usually during the summer, I crave a charming romantic comedy. I call this the Jane Austen Effect. Jane Austen made me a lifelong reader, and I have happy, almost cellular, memories of reading and re-reading a worn-out Penguin classics copy of Pride and Prejudice.

The End of the World As We Knew It by Rebecca

The minute I finish a really amazing novel, I am usually at a loss for words. It’s kind of ironic that my first reaction to the powerful and artful use of language is silence. Maybe that’s the appropriate response to art. Still, I will try to cobble some words together, so that I might share with others how much I loved Adam Haslet’s novel Union Atlantic . Readers’ Advisory Librarian Joyce Saricks encourages librarians to write down three words that describe every book they read.

The Amazing Three States of Amazement by Rebecca

As I’m writing this post, news is swirling about the death of Osama Bin Laden. And in the hours after this news, national fatigue, doubt, and anxiety gave way to spontaneous cheering in Washington , New York, and, most likely in private residences throughout the country. We feel a collective sense of pride and a sigh of relief this morning, but I have to wonder at what will remain—how citizens will construct meaning from this decade long mission and what the American identity will look like in another ten years.

Under the Spell of Meg Wolitzer by Rebecca

Meg Wolitzer’s books generally focus on women’s lives, psychologies, and relationships in a thoughtful, honest, and compassionate way. They reflect a feminism that is wise, hard-fought, and grown up. There are no easy answers and no moralizing. Men are equally hurt by gender roles, and women are equally flawed. She extends grace to her characters, which makes us see ourselves in them.

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