Notes from Mt. Bookpile

This has been a banner quarter! Here's what descended from Mt. Bookpile to join The Collection (per Doug's request, one-line reviews are now included).

  • Vita's Other World; Jane Brown Skirts her affairs and love life to concentrate on the gardening; too bad there weren’t more plans and colour photos
  • So Many Books, So Little Time; Sara Nelson If you’re a reader, you’ll know why this book hits home. If not...
  • Girl Sleuth; Melanie Rehak Interesting “biography” of Nancy Drew

  • Tales of Manhattan; Louis Auchincloss An old-fashioned look at an old-fashioned world
  • Dead Air; Iain Banks Not sure why this isn't available Over Here, but it's definitely worth reading (lad lit done way better than Nick Hornby does it)
  • Staring At the Sun; Julian Barnes I'd read a phone book if Barnes did it
  • Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Michael Chabon Not so sure if this qualifies as a "brilliant first novel" but not bad.
  • The Bookshop; Penelope Fitzgerald Small-town claustrophobia, UK style. Very nicely done.
  • Never Let Me Go; Kazuo Ishiguro Pretty good dystopian literature; sort of reminded me of James' The Children of Men
  • The Late George Apley; John P. Marquand Hard slog but, like Auchincloss, a nice period piece.
  • Changing Faces; Kimberla Lawson Roby Complete waste of paper and time.
  • Prep; Curtis Sittenfeld I can almost identify, but mine was single-sex.
  • A Complicated Kindness; Miriam Toews Vaguely disturbing coming-of-age as a Mennonite.

  • The Amber Room; Adrian Levy; Catherine Scott-Clark I admit, I've always wondered what happend to the room and it looks like now we know
  • Case Histories; Kate Atkinson Nicely interwoven tales, but the linkages were telegraphed way too early.
  • Belle Ruin; Martha Grimes Only three books in, and Emma Graham's story is growing tired.
  • The Lighthouse; P. D. James Seemed vaguely like a retread of other Dalgliesh's, but still well worth the read.
  • The Haunted Bookshop; Christopher Morley Another nice period piece, set in Brooklyn during WWI. Interesting tie-in to today in some respects.
  • Knots and Crosses, Hide and Seek, and Strip Jack; Ian Rankin Yes, I'm catching up on my Inspector Rebus mysteries. Just wish I remembered more about my time in Edinburgh!

  • Every Book Its Reader; Nicholas A. Basbanes Another good book about, well, it should be obvious
  • Not-a-Tame Lion; Bruce L. Edwards Not-a-great-read-about Narnia, either.
  • The Unprejudiced Palate; Angelo M. Pellegrini Surprisingly good food writing (particularly loved the episode with the girlfriend's family)
  • The New Brain; Richard M. Restak What's going on neurologically with the NextGen kids: are we doing more harm than good?
  • The Primal Teen; Barbara Strauch Explains, without judging or offering fixes, what seems to be going on in the American teenage mind.
  • The Heart of Narnia; Thomas M. Williams Might be about the Heart, but written without soul.


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