Honeymoons Can Be Hell: Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman

When a newly married couple experiencing financial difficulty discovers (you guessed it) something in the water on their honeymoon, chaos quickly ensues. … More Honeymoons Can Be Hell: Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman

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Every Best Actress Oscar Winner of the 1960s Listed and Ranked

The performances by actresses in the 1960s are so strong that there was a tie in 1968. What a thrilling group! This is perhaps the strongest list yet, and seeing some of the performances score low feels wrong somehow. If only there were more decades like this. It behooves me to remind you that although … More Every Best Actress Oscar Winner of the 1960s Listed and Ranked

Ranking Every Best Actor Oscar Winner of the 1960s

There are great performances by leading actors in the 1960s, but oddly enough the strongest performers didn’t actually win. If you’ve been following along you know that can’t factor into the ranking here, but looking at the list of what might have been at the bottom is very revealing: the top four on that list … More Ranking Every Best Actor Oscar Winner of the 1960s

Is The Bonfire of the Vanities a Garbage Novel?

For many years The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe’s satirical novel about race and money in New York City, has been called the definitive novel of the 1980s. It was a smash hit upon publication in 1987 and earned Wolfe, already known for his nonfiction books The Right Stuff and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, raves. But … More Is The Bonfire of the Vanities a Garbage Novel?

The Book I Gave up on Twice: The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer

I am a total fanboy of Meg Wolitzer’s novel The Interestings, as evidenced by the review I wrote back then. And while I can readily admit that The Interestings is not without flaws, I’m still dazzled by what it achieved: an astonishingly true-to-life examination of how a group of friends progresses over time. The Female Persuasion‘s publication was like … More The Book I Gave up on Twice: The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer

The Secret Love Life of Eleanor Roosevelt: White Houses, by Amy Bloom

Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship with Lorena Hickok has been a source of controversy since the days it was happening in real-time. Were they secret lovers? Merely close friends? The topic has been endlessly debated. White Houses assumes that they were lovers, which seems reasonable, and purports to tell the story of their relationship. And it does, but … More The Secret Love Life of Eleanor Roosevelt: White Houses, by Amy Bloom

Living and Dying in Times of Crisis: The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

“It’s always a matter, isn’t it, of waiting for the world to come unraveled? When things hold together, it’s only temporary.” Simply put, The Great Believers is a novel about the fragility of life; how tenuous our grasp on it–and each other–is. It is also beautiful, honest, and funny. I am not ashamed to admit that … More Living and Dying in Times of Crisis: The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai