Book review: After Birth by Elisa Albert

I love this book. Get it. Read it. Now. “After Birth” by Elisa Albert tells the story of three months in one woman’s life around a year after giving birth who befriends a former “almost” rock star/poet who is about to give birth. The narrator says of the poet: “I’m a little obsessed with her,Continue reading “Book review: After Birth by Elisa Albert”

Audio book review: ‘Prophecies, Libels and Dreams’ by Ysabeau S. Wilce

This was a fun listen: “Prophecies, Libels and Dreams” by Ysabeau S. Wilce, which I got in a giveaway from Small Beer Press (Thank you, Small Beer Press!). I didn’t know what to expect, and so this was my introduction to the fictional world of Califa that Wilce has written about in previous books, whereContinue reading “Audio book review: ‘Prophecies, Libels and Dreams’ by Ysabeau S. Wilce”

When do you give up on a book?

I quit a book the other day. I’ve seen Harlan Coben books everywhere, but I had never looked at one. At the library, I picked up the audiobook version of “Six Years,” read by Scott Brick (who I think has done a great job with Justin Cronin’s “The Passage” and “The Twelve”). I only madeContinue reading “When do you give up on a book?”

Book review: Yasushi Inoue’s ‘Life of a Counterfeiter and Other Stories’

One of the dominant characteristics of Yasushi Inoue’s rhetorical style in “Life of a Counterfeiter and Other Stories” (Pushkin Press; 144 pages; $18) in is his use of “hedging” phrases, such as “for some reason,” “I’ll never know” and “I may simply be reading too much into things.” These phrases could be interpreted as creatingContinue reading “Book review: Yasushi Inoue’s ‘Life of a Counterfeiter and Other Stories’”

#tbt book review: Elisa Albert’s ‘How This Night is Different’

In anticipation of Elisa Albert’s new novel “After Birth” (slated to be published next month), here’s a review of her first collection of short stories. The review was published April 1, 2007. In the title story of Elisa Albert’s comic and irreverent debut collection, “How This Night is Different” (Free Press; 208 pages; $18), aContinue reading “#tbt book review: Elisa Albert’s ‘How This Night is Different’”

#tbt Review: Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith My rating: 5 of 5 stars Originally written and published in the Times Union in August 2001. “Clean white teeth are not always wise,” says an elderly British veteran in Zadie Smith’s stunning debut novel, “White Teeth,” setting up one of the major ideas of her book, which has beenContinue reading “#tbt Review: Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth”

#tbt review: Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

This review originally appeared in the Times Union on March 1, 2007. “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King. Read by Mare Winningham. Unabridged, 19 hours, 16 CDs. Simon & Schuster. $49.95. In ancient Greek drama, deus ex machina was used when the plot got so out of control that only divine intervention could resolve it. “Lisey’sContinue reading “#tbt review: Lisey’s Story by Stephen King”

#tbt review: World War Z by Max Brooks

This review originally appeared in the Times Union on Jan. 2, 2007, long before the Brad Pitt movie came out. “World War Z,” by Max Brooks. Read by a full cast. Abridged, 6 hours. Random House Audio. $29.95. The stellar cast includes Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Mark Hamill, Henry Rollins, John Turturro, Rob Reiner andContinue reading “#tbt review: World War Z by Max Brooks”

Review: The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin My rating: 5 of 5 stars Awesome. Wonderful. Confounding. Clever. Brilliant. A coworker handed me her copy of this great Ursula K. Le Guin novel when she heard that I hadn’t read it yet. The book requires attention, and it wasn’t until I had long stretches of timeContinue reading “Review: The Dispossessed”