There’s a good chance that the title of Salley Vickers’ book DANCING BACKWARDS refers to a quote once made about Ginger Rogers: “Remember Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.” The quote implies that females have a harder role in life, and that certainly fits widow Violet Hetherington–a talented woman who gave up writing poetry years earlier.

August 5, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, United Kingdom

BEACH WEEK by Susan Coll

Those who enjoyed Susan Coll’s last novel will be pleased to know that she has successfully recycled a different aspect of the same material in her newest, bitingly witty satire, Beach Week. While Acceptance took aim at the upper middle class suburban hysteria surrounding the college application process, Beach Week is much edgier, a novel whose focus is the post-graduation tradition of high school seniors in the wealthy DC suburbs. During the summer before college, mobs of college-bound spoiled eighteen-year-olds rent, with the sanction and cosignatures of parents, beach houses along the Delaware shore where they engage in a week of bad decisions and biblical-like immorality.

June 27, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Humorous, Satire, Washington, D.C.

ILUSTRADO by Miguel Syjuco

Book Quote: “Could it be that he had grown too soft for a city such as this, a place possessed by a very different balance? Here, need blurs the line between good and bad, and a constant promise of random violence sticks like humidity down your back. Wholly different from the zeitgeist lining the Western […]

May 17, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Asia, SE, Man Asia Award, New York City, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


With her trademark wit and empathy, Schine pens another hilarious and affecting domestic comedy (THE THREE WEISSMANNS OF WESTPORT), using the ageless bones of Jane Austen’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY as a template.

The story opens with 78-year-old Joseph Weissmann announcing to his wife of 48 years, Betty, that he wants a divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. “The name of Joe’s irreconcilable difference was Felicity, although Betty referred to her, pretending she could not remember the correct name, sometimes as Pleurisy, more often as Duplicity.”

April 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Humorous, NE & New York, Reading Guide

LOWBOY by John Wray

This is a brilliant book, a masterpiece. Because LOWBOY has the ability to bring about such intense emotional reactions and is so riveting, writing an adequate review of it is very difficult. It is like trying to describe why I get goose bumps when I listen to my favorite symphony played by the greatest orchestra or trying to describe why I felt the way I did when I first saw Botticelli’s paintings at the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy.

November 11, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary, Unique Narrative

FLY BY WIRE by William Langewiesche

William Langewiesche’s analysis of all the factors which contributed to the “Miracle on the Hudson” is a story that matches the events themselves in terms of excitement. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, pilot of the Airbus A320 which hit a flock of geese, lost both engines, and landed in the Hudson River with no loss of life on January 15, 2009, has rightly been lauded for his performance and has become a popular hero. But he was not alone in the making of this miracle…

November 10, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: New York City, Non-fiction