March 2007

The last couple of months have been a blur of touring. Snow. Bitter cold. And you can imagine the crowds. Actually, one night it was breath-takingly cold in Pittsburgh, but 1900 people came out to hear Michael and me talk at Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures. Three nights later, guess how many people came to hear just me in Old Greenwich, Connecticut? Two.But I read a lot. Love Invents Us by Amy Bloom I'm still rereading. And Amy Bloom is still marvelous.

The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker If you haven't read the entire trilogy, then you are missing too too much. Get thee to a bookstore or library.

The Cement Garden by Ian McKuin So delightfully creepy.

A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom Loved it as much as the other!

Border Crossingby Pat Barker Haven't you gotten the point yet? Read the trilogy. NOW!!

The Known World by Edward P. Jones Now this novel was even better upon rereading, and that's saying a lot.

A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus 9/11 books are just so hard to get right.

The Road to Wellville by T.C. Boyle This book is just so much goddamn fun!

Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta I never expected to love this book as much as I did.

The Edge of Darkness by Mary Ellen Chase A kind of dull Maine novel

All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones Lovely, beautiful, albeit catastrophically depressing stories.

A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul So are we surprised this book was so incredible? The guy won the Nobel after all. My grandmother, by the way, when she heard that my husband won the Pulitzer, immediately began telling people he won the Nobel. The Nobel Peace Prize, actually. A Garden of Earthly Delights by Joyce Carol Oates She's a beautiful writer. One of the best. My God this book is bleak. The Evidence Against Herby Robb Forman Dew The fact that this book isn't a best-seller tells you what's wrong with contemporary literary fiction. Used to be a book like Dew's or like Anne Tyler's, would win the National Book Award or the Pulitzer. A book about family. About, gasp, women. Now we're completely obsessed with a certain kind of prose and we dismiss all books like these -- all family dramas -- as worthless. We dismiss them as "women's fiction." As "Oprah books." As if Ursula Hegi's book Stones From the River , for example, an Oprah book, wasn't magnificent. It's just sexism, pure and simple. The Truth of the Matter by Robb Foreman Dew As strong as the first.