Archive for August, 2009
A very sophisticated version of Economics for Dummies, Randy Epping’s THE 21ST-CENTURY ECONOMY: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE moves quickly through the topics of today’s economic world.
It is a daunting task to write a brief review about a 500 page book that holds thirty-six stories, most of which have been published in esteemed publications and spawned bestselling novels. Further, author Louise Erdrich is already known and beloved, a prolific, highly acclaimed writer of both short and long fiction.
I want to preface this review by stating that I am a fan of Maile Meloy, having read and loved both of her novels. It is always a bit of a challenge for me to pick up and read a book of short stories by a favorite author. There are so many ways that things can go flat, so many chances. In this book, however, the stories all soar. One is better than the next. Each is a gem in its own right. I was wowed! The pervasive theme that runs through the book is that of conflicted emotions: impulse vs. rationalism; fear vs. curiosity, pull vs. push, loyalty vs. betrayal; giving vs. taking.
In Muriel Barbery’s bestselling novel, THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG, Renee Michel, the concierge, disdains the fourth-floor resident, restaurant critic Pierre Arthens, as “an oligarch of the worst sort.” She continues, “Can one be so gifted and yet so impervious to the presence of things?” Yes, apparently he can, and in Barbery’s new “companion” volume, GOURMET RHAPSODY, the curtain of mystery is drawn back from him, and he shows us exactly how he does it!
206 BONES, by Kathy Reichs, opens with Tempe Brennan, handcuffed and buried in some sort of underground crypt. She does not remember how she got there, but is understandably terrified. The author then traces the complicated series of events that led up to Tempe’s abduction and entombment.
There is one central point that the talented English author, Monica Ali, makes with her new novel, IN THE KITCHEN: Whether itâ€™s London or an industrial town called Blantwistle, commerce has changed Great Britain.