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Reviews and Ratings
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reviewed Ghellow Road. April 04, 2011
Ghellow Road
Ghellow Road is a moving narrative of one woman's brave confrontation with her past and the gnawing demons of crippling mental illness that plagued her mother and thus affected the whole of her adolescent …
reviewed Psycho. April 04, 2011
Psycho: A Novel
Still disturbing and spooky after all these years, Psycho is a horror novel unlike all the others, because the true horror does not stem from the typical gothic elements that are found in most books of …
Saintly Youth of Modern Times
Sainthood is a fascinating process, because every minute facet of the candidate's life is exposed, dissected, analyzed and scrutinized. Volumes of books can be written and hundreds of witnesses can be …
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
Writers in general like to keep their lives private, or so I've been told, and when often asked about their personal lives, I've heard it said, You want to know me? Then know my books, and all your inquires …
reviewed Something Beautiful for God. February 28, 2011
Something Beautiful for God
If Malcom Muggeridge never wrote anything else in his life with the exception of Something Beautiful for God, his literary and journalistic reputation would have been assured. An eloquent yet succinct …
reviewed The Most Dangerous Game. February 02, 2011
The Most Dangerous Game
Winner of the 1924 O. Henry Memorial Prize for Best Short Story (the Pulitzer Prize for stories) The Most Dangerous Game, also known as "The Hounds of Zaroff," is quite a thrilling and twisting read, …
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces. January 17, 2011
A Confederacy of Dunces
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the 1960s, A Confederacy of Dunces is a book unlike any other that I have previously read. I have often heard it referred to as THAT book, a kind of complement coming …
reviewed The Graveyard Book. November 29, 2010
The Graveyard Book
Once again, with imaginative and narrative skill, Neil Gaiman has created a children's book unlike any other. At once gothic and phantasmagoric, it is still, at heart, a children's story with perhaps …
reviewed Wonderful, Wonderful Times. November 17, 2010
Wonderful, Wonderful Times
Published in 1980, Wonderful Wonderful Times is a novel whose title is a complete contradiction to anything of what the book is indicative of. Understood and accepted. For me, however, it was a confirming …
reviewed Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. November 17, 2010
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
Winner of the 1956 Newbery Medal for Children's Literature, Jean Lee Latham's Carry On, Mr. Bowditch tells the fascinating story of Nathaniel Bowditch, the author of the all-around and famous reference …
reviewed The End Of Alice. November 08, 2010
The End Of Alice
There are so many criminal happenings in society that it almost seems inevitable that a book like The End of Alice would come into print; when murder and crimes against children dominate the national …
reviewed An Academic Question. September 23, 2010
An Academic Question (Plume)
A reader not familiar with the works of Barbara Pym might come away from reading An Academic Question less than enthused. Hence, it would behoove them to read her Booker Prize nominated Quartet in Autumn …
The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel
After reading Matt Baglio's book-The Rite-the possession case of Anneliese Michel immediately sprang to mind, primarily because of the fictionalized films that were based loosely on her life and case: …
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist
With a plethora of exorcism movies available for viewing consumption, the subject itself has always been viewed as either an archaic act of old world superstitious wizardry or a scream feast with friends …
Saintly Women Of Modern Times
Being a lay Catholic in the modern world is not always easy, for there are many impediments that prevent people from slowing down and finding the simple quite time in their lives to pray and to contemplate …
reviewed The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. August 09, 2010
The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
In reading The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara by David Kertzer, readers might find it difficult to not shake their heads in utter disbelief, for it elicited that reaction in me. Nominated for the National …
Catholics (The Loyola Classics Series)
Catholics is a slim, simply written novel that raises good questions on faith, Catholic-Christianity, obedience and all the things that are all the core tenets of the Catholic Church. Set in the future, …
Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir
Black Dog of Fate is not the typical Baby Boomer memoir of growing up under Eisenhower and Kennedy, drinking pop and dancing to Elvis and the classics of early rock n' roll. The story at the beginning …
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and
For political junkies the 2008 presidential campaign was a feast that satiated many desires, for it was the mother of all soap operas that had a vast array of characters with flaws and more than an abundance …
Nadirs (European Women Writers)
Herta Muller's little book of juxtaposed vignettes is really like a book of diary entries. In each story the conveyance of old world village life is expertly imparted as an encapsulated sometimes primitive …
reviewed The Passport (Masks). June 25, 2010
The Passport (Masks)
The Passport is a novella consisting of only 93 pages with the primary focus being on the Banat region of Romania and the Swabians in particular, the German speaking minority residents who occupy that …
reviewed Traveling on One Leg. June 07, 2010
Traveling on One Leg
To say that Traveling on One Leg was a gloomy novel would definitely not be off the mark. But it is heavy in a good and honest way. It is rooted in the author's own life experiences and those of the Romanian …
reviewed The Appointment: A Novel. May 04, 2010
The Appointment: A Novel
The Appointment illustrates once more why Herta Muller is a European writer to be reckoned with. She has, without question, a keen eye and a no-holds-bar understanding of the deadening power that Communism …
reviewed Land of Green Plums. April 05, 2010
Land of Green Plums
For anyone who has ever believed that socialism of any kind was or is a good thing, Herta Muller's The Land of Green Plums would be an eye-opening novel that might make you think otherwise. My father, …
reviewed The Imposter - How a Juvenile Crimina.... March 08, 2010
The Imposter - How a Juvenile Criminal Succeeded
I will admit that I am not much of a reader of self-help/transformation books. The preamble for most of them starts off with, "Do you like the way things are going in your life?" Perhaps that's a cynical …
Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and
During the turn-of-the-century there were many fads that were in vogue. And while most of them were just harmless egressions from the monotony of day-to-day life, some crazes proved to be lethal. Gregg …
Akita: The Tears and Message of Mary
As Catholics, no one is obliged to believe in Marian apparitions, because they do not have the power of sacred Scripture. Yet, when a Marian apparition has occurred and is later authenticated by the Catholic …
The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur: The Woman
When you think of marriage, you know that it's going to be a memorable journey, despite the fact that it will naturally be peppered with its ups and downs. Usually, the bad moments in a marriage will …
reviewed The Lodger. September 21, 2009
The Lodger
The Lodger-Marie Belloc's most famous work of fiction-was originally published in 1913, and it is obvious that Jack the Ripper was the inspiration for her book. In this case, the killer's title or rather …
Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy (Loyola Classics
To be a nun means to occupy a very special and committed role in society. It is definitely a unique calling when a woman accepts to be a special witness and bearer to the truth of Jesus Christ. Five for …
reviewed Heat and Dust. August 31, 2009
Heat and Dust
After finishing Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's 1975 Booker-Prize winning novel set in India during the British Raj, I will admit, I was puzzled at the degree of kudos that this most mediocre novel received. To …
reviewed The Professor's House. July 10, 2009
The Professor's House
I came to the works of Willa Cather by way of my father, who was a deep admirer of her books, especially after he read The Song of the Lark. I knew that Cather wrote about the immigrant experience, but …
Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories
Raymond Carver was a master of the short story form. Often categorized as a minimalist writer, the label is (for me) quite misleading, if not totally inaccurate. His language is sparse and to-the-point, …
reviewed Sybil. June 21, 2009
Sybil
Child abuse, in any form, is one of the worst crimes that a person can commit. For me, it makes my blood boil. Knowing what the subject matter was behind Sybil, I knew that this was not going to be an …
reviewed A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity. June 18, 2009
A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity
Like many, I too am an admirer of Bill O'Reilly and of the Fox News Network. I enjoy the O'Reilly Factor primarily because he is a man with common sense who cuts through the bull of Washington politics, …
Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne Du
Daphne Du Maurier's story collection, Don't Look Now, is a must-have for readers interested in the literary elements of the creepy, bizarre and gothic. Primarily known for her gothic novel Rebecca, Du …
Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case
Not that far back, I was with a group of friends and one of them recounted how he had seen a woman fall in front of a restaurant. We inquired if she had gotten up, and he said no. But, he insisted, other …
reviewed Quartet in Autumn. September 30, 2008
Quartet in Autumn
Nominated for England's prestigious Booker Prize and largely inspired by her own retirement, Quartet in Autumn is the book that catapulted Barbara Pym back into the glow of the literary spotlight. For …
reviewed Tough Choices: A Memoir. August 27, 2008
Tough Choices: A Memoir
Having worked at a Cambridge based business school for a little over seven years as an administrative assistant, the story of Carly Fiorina really caught my interest, because I was curious about the gender …
reviewed Moon Tiger. August 25, 2008
Moon Tiger
Winner of the 1987 Booker Prize, Penelope Lively's Moon Tiger is a contemporary pitch-perfect crafted novel that reverberates around the dying Claudia Hampton, a best selling author of popular history. …
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