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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Books Read Lately: Trevor, Robinson, O’Neill

Four books this time, each a unique world of subtle human emotions, intrigue of character, and story that matches this modern world:

Two Lives (“Reading Turgenev” and “My House in Umbria”) by William Trevor

Umbria: Simply amazing. A mystery, put inside a pastoral, wrapped in human illusion. A must read for those who like well-drawn characters but are thoroughly opposed to explosions and anything with fangs.

Turgenev: A fabulous story by a writer whose nuanced prose takes you along like on a cloud (sometimes, then, a thundercloud).

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

I read about author Marilynne Robinson in the LRB, and was intrigued. This short novel of hers is deftly told, strangely compelling, and, ultimately, satisfying to an imaginative minded reader. Two girls are left to the care of their grandmother, who dies shortly; Ruthie and Lucille are then looked after by their aunt, a wanderer, who comes into the teens’ lives with strange habits that make their lives turn over.

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

Highly unusual tale of “the immigrant life in America” between Brits & Dutch & West Indians. Murder, mystery, life-stories, business-in-America, marriage & all that … this books has everything. And it’s well told.


My newest novel is “Max, the blind guy” — the story of Max and Greta Ruth, their 40-year relationship, and all the demons that show up as they find that life rarely goes according to plan. This new novel will be published on June 5, 2015.

What Beauty was published in 2012. It’s a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

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