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Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Arrogant Years

Got this from my sister-in-law.  Lagnado writes with incredible detail and emotional memory of her mother’s childhood in Egypt and their family’s flight to New York City after the overthrow of the King in the 50s.  I absolutely loved the glimpse into Egypt in the early 1900s and the story of Egyptian Jewish immigrants in […]


Very strange reading after The Cut (see below).  This one has protagonists who are strangely blank, even in the author’s attempt to spice them up (Detective Herman Sanchez refers to himself as Cisco in the third person throughout the book).  The vigilante that Sanchez and his partner McKenna hunt — dubbed “Justice” by the NYC […]

The Cut

Very satisfying — intriguing protagonist (Greek, womanizing, war-vet Spero Lucas), lots of Washington DC city detail, great secondary characters, and plenty of action.  Pelecanos wrote the tv show The Wire, which I could not watch because it was so taut.  This I finished in a day.

Small Acts of Amazing Courage

Ok, I picked it up because of the cover.  Cute, huh?  Reads like a short story.  About Rosalind, daughter of a British army officer in India, who at age 15 is wrestling with right and wrong and finding her own moral compass.  Background of Indian National Congress and rise of Ghandi as Indian liberator.  If […]

Children and Fire

An anniversary gift from my thoughtful husband who remembered I liked Hegi’s Stones From The River years ago, AND noticed that this one is set in Germany 1934 — hey!  it’s a winner!  Lots of satisfying mysteries revealed, beautiful character voices.

State of Wonder

I really loved this book.  Swift, engrossing narrative, gripping characters, big themes.  Hard to find big themes AND swift narrative — why does Ann Patchett make it look so easy?  And the anaconda scene alone will have me thinking of this book for a while.  I loved two of her other books and admire her […]