Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Book Reviews (sorted alphabetically by author's last name)

A - B

Abeel, Erica: Conscience Point (3/5)

Adiga, Aravind: Between the Assassinations (3.5/5), The White Tiger (4/5)

Adrian, Chris: A Better Angel (4/5)

Ahmed, Qanta: In the Land of Invisible Women (3.5/5)

Al-Shaykh, Hanan: The Locust and the Bird (2.5/5)

Anam, Tahmima: A Golden Age (4/5)

Assis, Machado de: Dom Casmurro (4/5)

Auster, Paul: Man in the Dark (3.5/5)

Barbery, Muriel: The Elegance of the Hedgehog (3.5/5), Gourmet Rhapsody (2.5/5)

Barker, Nicola: Darkmans (3/5)

Barnes, Kim: A Country Called Home (4.5/5)

Barry, Sebastian: The Secret Scripture (4/5)

Barth, John: The Development (3.5/5)

Benatar, Stephen: Wish Her Safe at Home (4/5)

Berger, John: From A to X (3/5)

Blevins, Christine: Midwife of the Blue Ridge (2.5/5)

Bolaño, Roberto: Monsieur Pain (3.5/5), The Savage Detectives (2/5)

Bowden, Charles: Some of the Dead are Still Breathing (3/5)

Brennert, Alan: Honolulu (3/5)

Brooks, Geraldine: People of the Book (3.5/5)

Bunn, David: Gold of Kings (3/5)

C - D

Canin, Ethan: America America (4/5)

Carey, Peter: His Illegal Self (3/5), Parrot and Olivier in America (4.5/5), Theft (4.5/5)

Cates, David Allan: Freeman Walker (3.5/5)

Chabon, Michael: Gentlemen of the Road (2/5)

Chaon, Dan: Await Your Reply (4/5)

Chessex, Jacques: The Vampire of Ropraz (3.5/5)

Child, Julia: My Life in France (4/5)

Claridge, Laura: Emily Post (3.5/5)

Cleave, Chris: Little Bee (5/5)

Coetzee, J.M.: Diary of a Bad Year (4.5/5)

Coles, Robert: Handing One Another Along: Literature and Social Reflection (4/5)

Cone, Libby: War on the Margins (3/5)

Coyne, Teri: The Last Bridge (3.5/5)

Currie, Jr., Ron: Everything Matters! (4/5)

Cunningham, Michael: By Nightfall (4/5)

Davidson, Andrew: The Gargoyle (3.5/5)

Dawson, Greg: Hiding in the Spotlight (4/5)

De Botton, Alain: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (4/5)

Dee, Jonathan: The Privileges (3.5/5)

Diaz, Junot: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (4/5)

Dideon, Joan: Play it as it Lays (4/5)

DiFonzo, Nicholas: The Watercooler Effect (2/5)

Doctorow, E.L.: Homer & Langley (4/5)

Donoghue, Emma: Room (4/5)

E - F

Ebershoff, David: The 19th Wife (3.5/5)

Egan, Jennifer: A Visit from the Goon Squad (3/5)

Enright, Anne: The Gathering (2/5)

Erdrich, Louise: Shadow Tag (3.5/5)

Etzioni-Halevy, Eva: The Triumph of Deborah (3/5)

Eugenides, Jeffrey: My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead (4.5/5)

Fallon, Siobhan: You Know When the Men Are Gone (4/5)

Ferris, Joshua: Then We Came to the End (3/5)

Filkins, Dexter: The Forever War (4/5)

Fiorato, Marina: The Glassblower of Murano (2.5/5)

Florian, Filip: Little Fingers (4/5)

Flynn, Thomas: Bikeman (2.5/5)

Fonseca, Rubem: The Taker and Other Stories (4.5/5)

Freese, Mathias: Down to a Sunless Sea (3.5/5)

Frey, James: Bright Shiny Morning (2/5)

Fuller, Alexandra: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight (3.5/5)

Fuqua, Jonathon Scott: In the Wake of the Boatman (3.5/5)

G - H

Galgut, Damon: In a Strange Room (4/5)

Gavelis, Ricardas: Vilnius Poker (4/5)

Gilbert, Elizabeth: Eat, Pray, Love (2.5/5)

Giordano, Paolo: The Solitude of Prime Numbers (4.5/5)

Grant, Linda: The Clothes on Their Backs (2.5/5)

Gray, Amelia: AM/PM (4/5)

Greenberg, Michael: Beg, Borrow, Steal (4/5)

Greer, Andrew Sean: The Story of a Marriage (4.5/5)

Grenville, Kate: The Lieutenant (4/5)

Grossman, David: Writing in the Dark (5/5)

Guène, Faïza: Some Dream for Fools (2/5)

Guo, Xiaolu: Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth (3/5)

Hadley, Tessa: The Master Bedroom (4.5/5)

Hall, Brian: Fall of Frost (4/5)

Hanif, Mohammed: A Case of Exploding Mangoes (4.5/5)

Hazelgrove, William Elliot: Rocket Man (3/5)

Heekin, Deirdre: Libation, a Bitter Alchemy (3.5/5)

Helms, Beth: Dervishes (4.5/5)

Hemon, Aleksandar: The Lazarus Project (4/5)

Henkin, Joshua: Matrimony (4.5/5)

Hesse, Hermann: Steppenwolf (4/5)

Hickman, Katie: The Aviary Gate (3/5)

Holmqvist, Ninni: The Unit (3.5/5)

Hornby, Simonetta Agnello: The Marchesa (2/5)

Horan, Nancy: Loving Frank (4/5)

Howe, Katherine: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (3/5)

I - J

Ilf, Ilya (and Evgeny Petrov): The Golden Calf (4/5)

Jacobson, Howard: The Finkler Question (3.5/5)

Jen, Gish: World and Town (4.5/5)

Johnson, B.S.: The Unfortunates (5/5)

Jungk, Peter Stephan: Crossing the Hudson (3.5/5)

K - L

Kalish, Mildred Armstrong: Little Heathens (1/5)

Keane, Mary Beth: The Walking People (4/5)

Kent, Kathleen: The Heretic's Daughter (4/5)

Kingsolver, Barbara: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (4.5/5)

Kolpan, Gerald: Etta (2.5/5)

Krasikov, Sana: One More Year (4.5/5)

Krzhizhanovsky, Sigizmund: Memories of the Future (4/5)

Kushner, Rachel: Telex from Cuba (3.5/5)

Laforet, Carmen: Nada (3/5)

Lahiri, Jhumpa: Unaccustomed Earth (4.5/5)

Largo, Michael: Genius and Heroin (3.5/5)

Larsen, Reif: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (4/5)

Larsson, Stieg: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (3.5/5)

Lauryssens, Stan: Dali & I (3/5)

Lee, Nam: The Boat (3.5/5)

Leigh, Julia: Disquiet (4/5)

Le Tellier, Herve: Enough About Love (4.5/5)

Lin, Francie: The Foreigner (4/5)

Luca, Ghérasim: The Passive Vampire (4/5)

M - N

Malzieu, Mathias: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (3/5)

Martin, Valerie: The Confessions of Edward Day (4/5)

Masson, Jeffrey Moussaieff: The Face on Your Plate (2/5)

Maugham, W. Somerset: The Painted Veil (4/5)

McCann, Colum: Let the Great World Spin (4/5)

McCarthy, Tom: C (4.5/5)

McEwan, Ian: Solar (4/5)

Menendez, Ana: The Last War (4/5)

Mewshaw, Michael: Lying with the Dead (3/5)

Millhauser, Steven: Dangerous Laughter (2.5/5)

Millhone, Mark: The Patron Sait of Used Cars and Second Chances (3.5/5)

Mitchell, David: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (4.5/5)

Mitchell, R.B.: Castaway Kid (1/5)

Monzo, Quim: Gasoline (4/5)

Morrison, Toni: A Mercy (3.5/5)

Murphy, Peter: John the Revelator (3.5/5)

Murray, Paul: Skippy Dies (4/5)

Nerval, Gérard de: The Salt Smugglers (3.5/5)

Newmark, Elle: The Book of Unholy Mischief (2.5/5)

O - P

Ogawa, Yoko: The Housekeeper and the Professor (4/5)

O'Nan, Stewart: Last Night at the Lobster (4/5), Songs for the Missing (4.5/5), The Good Wife (3.5/5)

O'Neill, Joseph: Netherland (4/5)

Oz, Amos: Rhyming Life & Death (3/5)

Ozick, Cynthia: Foreign Bodies (4/5)

Peacock, Caro: A Dangerous Affair (3/5)

Perrotta, Tom: The Abstinence Teacher (1.5/5)

Persico, Joseph: Franklin and Lucy (4.5/5)

Petrov, Evgeny (and Ilya Ilf): The Golden Calf (4/5)

Petterson, Per: Out Stealing Horses (5/5)

Pfeijffer, Ilja Leonard: Rupert (4.5/5)

Porter, Andrew: The Theory of Light & Matter (4/5)

Price, Richard: Lush Life (3/5)

Prieto, José Manuel: Rex (4/5)

Pynchon, Thomas: Inherent Vice (4.5/5)

Q - R

Rachman, Tom: The Imperfectionists (4/5)

Rahimi, Atiq: The Patience Stone (4/5)

Rayner, Jay: The Man Who Ate the World (3/5)

Riggs, Jack: The Fireman's Wife (3.5/5)

Robinson, Marilynne: Home (4/5)

Rodoreda, Mercè: Death in Spring (5/5)

Roncagliolo, Santiago: Red April (3.5/5)

Rosales, Guillermo: The Halfway House (4/5)

Roth, Philip: Indignation (4/5)

Rutledge, David: Where We Know: New Orleans as Home (4/5)

S - T

Sandweiss, Martha: Passing Strange (4/5)

Sansal, Boualem: The German Mujahid (4/5)

Saramago, Jose: The Elephant’s Journey (4/5)

Schwartz, John Burnham: The Commoner (1.5/5)

Shaffer, Mary Ann (and Annie Barrows): The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2.5/5)

Shaw, Deirdre: Love or Something Like It (3.5/5)

Shors, John: Dragon House (3/5)

Singer, Peter (and Jim Mason): The Way We Eat (4/5)

Sittenfeld, Curtis: American Wife (3.5/5)

Slatton, Traci: The Immortal (2.5/5)

Snyder, Laura: The Philosophical Breakfast Club (4/5)

Spiegelman, Art: Be a Nose (3/5)

St. John, Warren: Outcasts United (3/5)

Stone, Robert: Fun with Problems (4/5)

Summerscale, Kate: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (3.5/5)

Sutherland, John: Curiosities of Literature (2/5)

Swift, Vivian: When Wanderers Cease to Roam (4/5)

Taylor, Andrew: Bleeding Heart Square (3/5)

Tinti, Hannah: The Good Thief (3/5)

Toews, Miriam: The Flying Troutmans (3.5/5)

Toibin, Colm: Brooklyn (4/5)

Toobin, Jeffrey: The Nine (3.5/5)

Torkells, Erik: A Stingray Bit My Nipple! (4/5)

Tremain, Rose: Trespass (4/5)

Trevor, William: Love and Summer (5/5)

Tropper, Jonathan: This is Where I Leave You (3/5)

Trout, Nick: Tell Me Where it Hurts (2/5)

Troyanov, Iliya: The Collector of Worlds (4.5/5)

Tsepeneag, Dumitru: Pigeon Post (4/5)

U - V

Ugresic, Dubravka: Nobody's Home (4/5)

Unferth, Deb Olin: Vacation (4/5)

Viswanathan, Padma: The Toss of a Lemon (4/5)

W - X

Wall, Carolyn: Sweeping Up Glass (3.5/5)

Waters, Sarah: The Little Stranger (4.5/5)

Werris, Wendy: An Alphabetical Life (3/5)

Winer, Andrew: The Marriage Artist (4/5)

Wroblewski, David: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (4.5/5)

Wyld, Evie: After the Fire, a Still Small Voice (3.5/5)

Y - Z

Yglesias, Rafael: A Happy Marriage (4/5)

York, Alissa: Effigy (4.5/5)


Mathieu said...

Your list is really interesting. I'd like to read all those books. What do you think of Antonio Lobo Antunes? Have you ever read any of his novels?
Please, forgive me for my English because I am french.
I read your review about the Thomas Pynchon's novel. Do you advice me it?

Gwen Dawson said...


I have The Fat Man and Infinity by Antonio Lobo Antunes sitting on my bookshelf, but I'm ashamed to admit I haven't yet had the chance to read it.

Regarding the Pynchon, it depends. If psychadelic noir and lots of pop culture references annoy you, you should avoid the book. If you've never read Pynchon and are looking for an entry point into his work, Inherent Vice is a great place to start.