The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstøl, translated from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally

The Land of Dreams can be classified as Nordic Crime.  On the surface it is the story of an elaborate murder in a small Minnesota town. Minnesota is known for having a large Skandinavian-American community. Norwegian characters are involved. The book explores the dark side of human nature.  But, if it is Nordic Crime, it is atypical of the genre. Put aside the fact that the story … Continue reading The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstøl, translated from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally

In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death & the World It Made by Norman F. Cantor

The hypothesis on which Norman F. Cantor bases his book – In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death & the World It Made – is sound. That the Black Plague swept across Europe and performed a kind of natural selection that set the course of history is indisputable. Cantor manages to also make it completely uninteresting. Almost immediately the book falls into a … Continue reading In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death & the World It Made by Norman F. Cantor

BookSexy’s Most Wanted: The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

The Guardian Books Podcast likes to torment me with books I can’t have.  The June 24th episode has a fantastic interview with Edmund de Waal, a British potter whose  memoir follows the journey of a family heirloom – a Japanese Netsuke collection – through history.   In the process, he tells the stories of the members of the family who were in possession of the collection.  … Continue reading BookSexy’s Most Wanted: The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

A 20th Century Odyssey: Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow

1. This is the incident that made Homer & Langley Collyer infamous.  After years of the brothers being hounded by reporters, bill collectors and concerned relatives (all of whom believed their mattresses stuffed with cash), an anonymous call was made to the authorities about a dead body.  When the police attempted to investigate, they couldn’t enter the house.  They couldn’t even open the doors.  They … Continue reading A 20th Century Odyssey: Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow