Review: The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan

20 Books of Summer: Book 3

When I culled my bookshelves at the start of the summer, Jennifer Egan’s The Invisible Circus shifted into and out of the “keep” pile. I’d read Part One several times and loved it, but consistently lost interest somewhere in Part Three. I didn’t want to keep a book that had landed in the DNF pile several times already, but I had such fond memories of Part One. And now, at last, I have finished it. The ending did not live up to the promise of Part One.

This review will contain spoilers for the end of the book. read more

Review: A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

20 Books of Summer 2022: Book 1

I’ve been reading Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books at the rate of one per summer and have arrived at #10: A Caribbean Mystery. These lighthearted mysteries are perfect for summertime reading, but I often think I should leave them off my official reading list so I don’t feel pressured to review them. They’re entertaining, but not particularly memorable, and I find myself rereading my previous reviews in order to avoid repetition. (4:50 from Paddington is still my favorite.) read more

20 Books of Summer 2022

I haven’t posted on my blog in almost a year, nor have I read any books in that time. I know reading isn’t supposed to be something you quit, but other projects came up and a break was a great help to get my TBR in hand. A little distance made it possible to purge my bookshelves. There were so many books I’d held onto only because “I’ll read it eventually,” even if the topic didn’t interest me, or titles that I felt obligated to keep on my shelf because they meant I was a certain type of reader, etc. Getting rid of the chaff was such a relief—it was like I’d accumulated hundreds of homework assignments over the years, and the deadlines suddenly vanished. Really, why should I read all the Booker/Pulitzer winners anyway? Some of them sound awful. (eBooks escaped the purge because they don’t require physical space.) I haven’t updated the TBR that’s posted on this site yet, but eventually it’ll reflect books I’m more excited to read instead of self-imposed homework. read more

Review: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez

20 Books of Summer: Book 3

I’ve been trying to finish a book by Gabriel García Márquez for years and—finally!—I have. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is one of his shorter books at 120 pages. Its premise is also much more straightforward and linear than that of 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. This book is a murder “mystery,” but the only mysterious thing about the death is that it was allowed to happen: On the morning before Santiago Nasar is murdered, everyone is gossiping about his upcoming death, but no one prevents it. No one warns Nasar because “No one even wondered if Santiago Nasar had been warned, because it seemed impossible to all that he hadn’t.” (20) read more