Nemesis by Philip Roth (ARC)

My father was born in 1945 and spent his childhood in Newark, (pronounced ‘nork,’ regardless of what you’ve been told) New Jersey.  His family lived in the Ironbound – a.k.a. “Down Neck”.  Wikipedia describes it as a large, working class neighborhood; but my understanding is that there wasn’t a lot of work and even less money when he was growing up.  Black & white photos … Continue reading Nemesis by Philip Roth (ARC)

Doubles: A First Novel by Nic Brown (advance review copy)

Doubles, a first novel by Nic Brown, may be one of this summer’s best reads.  It contains all the elements guaranteed to drag a reader in:  an intriguing opening; brilliant pacing; quirky characters and strong visuals.  The story of an insular circle of five friends, at its heart is the relationship between two tennis players.  Kaz & Slow have been doubles partners since they were … Continue reading Doubles: A First Novel by Nic Brown (advance review copy)

Mad About Moers! – A Review of The Alchemaster’s Apprentice by Walter Moers

Summer is over, but no one says we need to back away from the escapist fiction!  There’s no shame in losing yourself between the covers of a good book.  Just don’t confuse this kind of escape with the chick lit, mysteries and thrillers you were reading on the beach.    Save those for next year’s daiquiri.  Instead, we advise walking proudly into the Sci-Fi / … Continue reading Mad About Moers! – A Review of The Alchemaster’s Apprentice by Walter Moers

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

Welcome Back to Barcelona! – The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My vision of Barcelona in the 1930’s has been shaped by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  The city sky is perpetually overcast.  I imagine glistening wet sidewalks and streetlamps haloed by fog.  Automobiles are large and sculptural, with polished chrome hood ornaments that cut through the night.  The men and women wander the streets with their faces buried in books.  Everyone looks like a Tamara de Lempicka … Continue reading Welcome Back to Barcelona! – The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón