Monthly Archives: July 2015

“My memory is an archipelago.”

Arranging everything in chronological order in memoirs can be, well, boring. The challenge is finding an alternative structural method that doesn’t bewilder readers. The author of this memoir takes a bold approach: she gives us many tiny stories/reflections/anecdotes as stand-alone … Continue reading

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“It was as if nothing I’d ever done in my life prior to this counted.”

The wonderful thing about 600-page sagas is, in my view, the opportunity to develop a wide perspective. Readers get to see the consequences of decisions as they play out over the span of decades. Sometimes characters come to see things … Continue reading

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“Let us start this preposterous journey in the most British way imaginable: with a series of meandering apologies and caveats.”

With this first sentence, I was hooked on this collection of stand-up routines and one-liners by BBC writer Fraser McAlpine. With an addiction to Downton Abbey, a life-long love of the Beatles, strong memories of Princess Diana, and a daughter … Continue reading

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“Can you taste what I’m saying?”

The poem continues: “It is onions and potatoes . . . it is obvious. . .” This is how Philip Levin conceptualizes truth in the poem “The Simple Truth.” I’m often reminded of this gritty, elegant poem when I scrub … Continue reading

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“Whatever your ailment, our prescriptions are simple: a novel (or two), to be read at regular intervals.”

Finding the right book at the right time — isn’t that what we all want? It certainly is one of the central obsessions in my world. That’s why I’m delighted to discover The Novel Cure, which provides 751 suggestions for … Continue reading

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