Out Loud  / fiction

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

The Dinner, by Herman Koch


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

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

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.

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

Want Not, by Jonathan Miles

Jonathan Miles

Anyone who can embroider a letter of complaint into a great tragicomic novel is worth following, in my book. So when I heard that Jonathan Miles (author of Dear American Airlines) had a new one out, my page turning finger

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

Dissident Gardens, by Jonathan Lethem


I’ve missed the last few books by Jonathan Lethem, but remember liking some of his earlier ones, especially Motherless Brooklyn, an unforgettable novel about a detective with Tourette syndrome.

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

& Sons, by David Gilbert


I seem to be on a jag: novels about novelists. I was wowed by Meg Wolitzer’s The Wife, and before that, loved David Gilbert’s & Sons.

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

My Education, by Susan Choi

Susan Choi portrait01-2

This novel starts off typically enough with a grad student crush on a charismatic professor.

Written by Jan Kline one year ago

Jacob’s Folly, by Rebecca Miller


If you read a book about an eighteenth century Jewish peddler being transformed into a housefly, I think it’s best if you aren’t reminded of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. But maybe that’s just me.

Written by Jan Kline two years ago

Two Non-Turkeys for Thanksgivikkah Reading


Here are a couple of engrossing reads for the holiday weekend. No pilgrims, no arguments over who washes the turkey pan, not so much as a hand-turkey elementary school art project in either of these, I promise. Either will get

Written by Jan Kline two years ago

The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri


All of Jhumpa Lahiri’s fiction deals with the immigrant experience, from India to (most often) the northeastern United States, and The Lowland is no exception. This time, though, the reader gets a lesson in Indian history along with a compelling

Written by Jan Kline two years ago

A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki.jpg

Having never read Ruth Ozeki, I approached this novel with some trepidation. It sounded like a real yard sale of elements: a teenage girl’s diary (possibly authored by a victim of the Fukushima disaster), Zen monks, time travel, schoolgirl fetishists,