Thursday, February 26, 2009

Age of Innocence

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

1921 Pulitzer

Set in New York's High Society, Age of Innocence is The story of a young man trying to follow the rules of society against his vague discomfort with them. Newland Archer is a young lawyer engaged to the proper young lady, May Welland. Everything is on tract until May's cousin returns to New York.

Countess Ellen Olenska has left her husband amid scandal and returned to her family. But in the late 19th century divorce is a scandal. So Newland is drawn into the family's efforts to persuade Ellen to return to her husband. And Newland finds himself attracted to her and begins to question the path he is taking.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A Summons to Memphis Ж Peter Taylor
Mrs. Dalloway Ж Virginia Woolf
Ironweed Ж William Kennedy
Dreamcatchers Ж Stephen King
The Painted Veil Ж W Somerset Maugham

The Invisible Man Ж H. G. Wells
The Handmaid's Tale Ж Margaret Atwood
Tree of Smoke Ж Denis Johnson
American Pastoral Ж Philip Roth
Age of Innocence Ж Edith Wharton

Brave New World Ж Aldous Huxley
Always Time to Die Ж Elizabeth Lowell
Water for Elephants Ж Sara Gruen
The Stranger Ж Albert Camus
The Keepers of the House Ж Shirley Ann Grau
Black Lightening Ж John Saul

The Killer Angels Ж Michael Shaara
The Kite Runner Ж Khaled Hosseini
The Illiad Ж Homer
Middle Passage Ж Charles Johnson
The Scarlet Pimpernel Ж Baroness Emmuska Orczy

The World According to Garp Ж John Irvng
Beowulf Ж Seamus Heanly
Rendezvous with Rama Ж Arthur C. Clark
Doctor Zhivago Ж Boris Pasternak
The Sound and the Fury Ж William Faulkner
Breathing Lessons Ж Anne Tyler


Cloudsplitter Ж Russell Banks
Born to be Wild Ж Catherine Coulter
Strangers Ж Dean Koontz

Eleanor and Franklin Ж Joseph Lash
The Stories of John Cheever Ж John Cheever
Eden's Outcasts Ж John Matteson
The Book of Ruth Ж Jane Hamilton

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Ж Lisa See
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Ж Betty Smith
The Brothers Karamazov Ж Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Lesson Before Dying Ж Ernest J Gaines
Black Lightning Ж John Saul
The Odyssey Ж Homer
The Bridge on the Drina Ж Ivo Andric
Body of Lies Ж Iris Johansen

Of Human Bondage Ж Somerset Maugham
Possession Ж A. S. Byatt

Flowers For Algernon Ж Daniel Keyes

Friday, February 20, 2009

American Pastoral

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

1998 Pulitzer

Swede Levov is trying to live the American dream. He marries a beauty queen and buys a house he's loved since his youth. But during the 60's his daughter becomes a war militant. Merry plants a bomb that kills a man and then goes into hiding. Levov's life sowly begins to unravel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tree of Smoke

Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

"Tree of Smoke" is a story about the people who fought in the Viet Nam was. Skip is an undercover CIA agent engaged in psychological warfare. His only contact is his maybe crazy colonel uncle. The book is full of the twists and turns that go with was. It's a big book, but it's fast reading. And it covers all the pertinent elements of war- spies, friends, enemies, battles, family. All of it. It's an incredible novel with so many threads that are easy to keep tract it. A must read for all war story fans.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

"The Handmaid's Tale" is set in a future in which religion is used to rule the population. After a series of disasters, the United States had been replaced by Gilead. Women are now expected to be housewives, concubines or nuns. Most women are now sterile and handmaids are fertile women who are used as surrogates. "The Handmaid's Tale" follows a woman named Offred who is a surrogate. She has been separated from her husband and child and placed in the home of an official. Her fate depends on her ability to conceive.

I found this book very disturbing. The premise seems plausible. It would be Utopia for men. But I've never read about any Utopia I would want to live in.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man by H G Wells

Griffin is a scientist who learns to control light refraction with the human body...sort of. He has learned to make himself invisible, but now he can't undo the experiment. So he heads off to a small English village where he gets a room to try to figure out how to reverse the procedure. And while he begins terrorizing the village, the villagers begin to figure out his secret.

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. It's one of those where you think you know the story because it's rooted so deep in popular culture. Like Frankenstein, it's been retooled and played with so much during the last century you're never sure what is authentic. I would suggest everyone read it. It's not very big in size but it's huge in creepiness.