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Posts from the ‘Sensible Shoes: Book Reviews’ Category

The Antagonist, by Lynn Coady

The novel made up entirely of letters isn’t a new form. But the email novel is a newer development — not that there aren’t already enough examples of them out there to make writing one a potentially slippery slope ending in a bog of quickly-dated cliche. Read more

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

It took eight months of waiting, but finally the library copy of The Goldfinch stayed on the shelf long enough for me to get my mitts on it. As it was, I had to jerk it out of my sister’s grip, claiming big sister/ex-library employee privilege. Read more

Casebook, by Mona Simpson

It’s a coincidence that just after re-reading a childhood favorite of mine, Harriet the Spy, I should pick up an adult novel that also features kids spying on adults. Read more

The Unknowns, by Gabriel Roth

By now, I would have thought that the chance of coming up with a non-cliché male geek misfit character would be very slim. But Gabriel Roth has beaten the odds. Read more

The Dinner, by Herman Koch

After reading this book, I’ll never be hazy on the concept of the unreliable narrator again. Read more

Post-Soviet Nebbish

When I learned that the title of novelist Gary Shteyngart’s new memoir was Little Failure, I thought he was doing his usual self-deprecating shtick. When I read that, translated into RussGlish — Failurchka — it was his mother’s pet name for him, I realized that there was going to be more than just comedy in this story. Read more

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yes, I read and liked Eat, Pray, Love like the rest of female America of a certain age. But I also enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s earlier fiction, especially Stern Men, set in the world of Maine’s lobster fishing industry. Read more