“Monogamy” by Sue Miller

This novel (Monogamy, published by Harper, 2020) is the latest rich offering from the talented Miller, and it was, for me, a particularly good choice during this era of COVID. As I’m reconnecting (online and …

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Read about the Plague? Now? Yes.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks is a brilliant novel, at first so heart-wrenching and vivid in its account of a 17th-century bubonic-plague village in England, that it is tempting to close it and return …

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Lab Girl: a triumph

One of the best books I’ve read in years: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Jahren is a geochemist, geobiologist, and a brilliant writer. This autobiography weaves the life story of trees (among other green things) …

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Making art.

The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s, by Maggie Doherty (Knopf, 2020) is a deeply researched and well-written book about poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin, painter Barbara Swan, …

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Tough, smart, funny…and she loves horses, doesn’t she?

Julie Blacklow’s memoir, Fearless: Diary of a Badass Reporter will delight those who want to live vicariously – smack in the middle of the life of a strong writer and committed journalist who faced down …

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Money talks.

There’s wisdom in the thesis explored in this New York Times article, “I’ll Share My Salary Information, if You Share Yours,” by Jessica Bennett (1/9/2020), which in a nutshell says that the more women talk …

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Race and Little Women

Louisa May Alcott would be fascinated to hear and read the discussions about diversity and literature-turned-into-films. Alcott, the author of Little Women, was way, way ahead of her time, and she pushed hard against the …

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The Saint of Central Square

Robert Kinerk is a fine writer and one who has covered genres from hard news to very well-regarded children’s literature, rhymes to headlines, stage plays to lyrics, and everything in between. The gifted Cambridge, Mass., …

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Phillipa Gregory’s “Tidelands” is brilliant.

Phillipa Gregory long ago established herself as a writer of excellent historical fiction. In her care, the Plantagenets and the Tudors came alive to a global readership. Even the heavy breathing of the various TV …

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The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. KingEdition read: Picador, 1994 You don’t need to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes fan to get all the inside-baseball bits of this well-written picaresque novel. It will, however, …

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Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M. Lucey

Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M. LuceyEdition read: Kindle, 2017 Impressive research into four women behind portraits by John Singer Sargent. The gossipy tone and contemporary language is often jarring, but …

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‘A’ is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery by Sue Grafton

“A” is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery by Sue Grafton Edition read: Kindle, from Holt Paperbacks, 2010 The first in the alphabetical voyage by Grafton.  A straight-shooting, minimalist heroine who solves a crime with hard …

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Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice

“Cry to Heaven” is the story of 17th century castrati, castrated males with unearthly, beautiful voices. These revered artists were courted by the Vatican and high society, but were also outcasts: eunuchs who existed in an excruciating gender …

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Scottsboro: A Novel, by Ellen Feldman

The case of the “Scottsboro Boys” in 1931 proves that real-life stories, are in fact, stranger and more shocking than the made-up stuff can ever be. The Alabama case of nine African American teenagers falsely …

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