Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

October 26, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Since its publication in 1842, Dead Souls has been celebrated as a supremely realistic portrait of provincial Russian life and as a splendidly exaggerated tale; as a paean to the Russian spirit and as a remorseless satire of imperial Russian venality, vulgarity, and pomp. As Gogol’s wily antihero, Chichikov, combs […]


NY Times Bestsellers 101920

October 19, 2014

Here are the current NY Times bestsellers in a handful of the more popular categories. Combined Print & E-Book Fiction: GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn DEADLINE, by John Sandford THE BEST OF ME, by Nicholas Sparks BURN, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge PARIS MATCH, by Stuart Woods Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction: KILLING PATTON, […]


Pre-Christmas Sales

October 18, 2014

I swear, the holiday shopping season is getting longer and longer every year! Before, retailers were pushing it if they put up any Christmas-related stuff the day after Halloween. Now, it seems acceptable to start mentioning sales and so forth at any time in October. Every time I go to the mall or check out […]


Native Son by Richard Wright

October 17, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman […]


Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman

October 12, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it’s not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess’s greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there’s a roof. Then […]


The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

October 4, 2014

Henry James drew on the memory of a beloved cousin who died young to create one of the three central characters, Milly Theale, an heiress with a short time to live and a passion for experiencing life to its fullest. To the creation of the other two, Merton Densher and the magnificent, predatory Kate Croy, […]