Life as a Work in Progress: In Pieces, by Sally Field

Celebrity memoirs always give me pause because the ones I’ve read tend to feel as though they have a thick coat of veneer. They’re always conscious of their image, so what they present in the memoir feels calculated or even whitewashed. As such, reading a celebrity memoir usually feels like an exercise in futility: by … More Life as a Work in Progress: In Pieces, by Sally Field

The Male Mystery Author Cliché I Hate: All the Beautiful Lies, by Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson’s All the Beautiful Lies is a pretty good psychological thriller, but it’s also emblematic of a male mystery author trope I hate. … More The Male Mystery Author Cliché I Hate: All the Beautiful Lies, by Peter Swanson

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