Paula Fox’s Vignettes of Childhood

Book review: Borrowed Finery, by Paula Fox (Amazon / Book Depository) For years I assumed responsibility for all that happened in my life, even for events over which I had not the slightest control. It was not out of generosity of mind or spirit that I did so. It was a hopeless wish that I... Continue Reading →

A Generational Saga from New Orleans East

Review: The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom (Amazon / Book Depository) Nothing had, at the moment I asked, been written about the lives of the people who lived there. The East was not too young for history; it was just that in the official story of New Orleans, its stories and people were relegated... Continue Reading →

A Tragicomic Memoir of a Dysfunctional Family

Book review: The Splendid Things We Planned, by Blake Bailey (Amazon / Book Depository) Award-winning biographer Blake Bailey took on a different kind of challenging biographical subject in The Splendid Things We Planned -- his own dysfunctional family. The central point of his memoir, around which everything in this story revolves, is his older brother, Scott. Scott... Continue Reading →

Scenes from a Panic

Book review: Little Panic, by Amanda Stern (Amazon / Book Depository) I am always in the future somehow, separated from my body, and it’s from there I feel sad for the moment I’m living. Soon this moment will be gone; it will turn into another moment that will go, and I think I must be... Continue Reading →

Obsession on the Upper East Side

Book review: You All Grow Up and Leave Me, by Piper Weiss (Amazon / Book Depository) In this Gossip Girl meets true crime hybrid memoir, the story of Gary Wilensky, private tennis coach to wealthy Manhattan teenagers who made a thankfully unsuccessful abduction attempt of one his students, is recounted alongside the author's growing pains. She had... Continue Reading →

Making Light of a Soviet Childhood

Book review: Everything is Normal, by Sergey Grechishkin Book Depository Railways and trains in Russia have always been much more than just pragmatic modes of getting from point A to point B. For a Russian soul, a never-ending train journey across the empty vastness of its land is a state of mind, a meditation, an... Continue Reading →

An Unusual Coming of Age in L.A.

Book review: We Are All Shipwrecks, by Kelly Grey Carlisle If you read history, you could learn where the ideas you took for granted actually came from and, what I found oddly reassuring, that the world had always been a terrible mess. Kelly Grey Carlisle had an unconventional childhood, to put it mildly. In 1976, at... Continue Reading →

From Queens with Love

Book review: The Clancys of Queens, by Tara Clancy (Amazon / Book Depository) A fast-paced memoir composed of vignettes of the author's time growing up with her big Irish-Italian families in Queens. After her parents' split when she was a toddler, she divides her time between her dad's tiny but loving boathouse home and bar family in... Continue Reading →

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