George Eliot’s Middlemarch is a crowning achievement among Victorian novels—a canon with its fair share of weighty masterworks. Admired by generations of writers, including Virginia Woolf, who called it “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” it holds primacy of place on many readers’ “to be read” lists, though many probably never get to the somewhat daunting task. Not so Rebecca Mead, a staff writer for The New Yorker, who first read the novel when she was 17 and has re-read it many times since.
Sharon Sala writes a charming story about a second chance at life and love in The Curl Up and Dye.When LilyAnn Bronte lost her high school sweetheart 11 years ago, she became mired in grief. But now, at 28, the sound of a hot-rod engine awakens her to all that’s wrong with her existence. Is the newcomer behind the wheel the next man of her dreams? Her neighbor and best friend, Mike Dalton, sure hopes not. Owner of the town’s fitness center, Mike’s been in love with LilyAnn forever, but she’s never considered him to be romance material.
Bake It, Don’t Fake It! is a great and wonderfully descriptive title for this straightforward seminar on baking from scratch. Heather Bertinetti, a super-talented pastry pro who has worked in some of the best restaurants in New York City, has made it her mission to dispel the fear of baking that lurks in so many home kitchens and keeps otherwise competent cooks from making pies, pastries, party cakes and beyond.
Vicki Robin transformed our relationship with money in her bestseller Your Money or Your Life, and now she’s set to do likewise regarding our relationship with food. Don’t be misled into thinking her new book belongs in the religion section, though, because Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is all about food systems: how they work, how they don’t and how they can be healed.
San Francisco during the roaring ’20s comes to vivid life in Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett. Aida Palmer is a spirit medium who performs around the country. When she’s summoned after hours to the speakeasy where she’s currently engaged . . .
Dick Wolf’s first novel, The Intercept, introduced Agent Jeremy Fisk of the NYPD anti-terror Intelligence Division. It was a story that played out on a global scale, with cameo appearances from Osama and Obama, among others. Now Fisk returns in a second gripping adventure, The Execution.
Three time-spanning tales with touches of magic make excellent picks for reading groups this January.
When the temperature plummets, Tammy Donroe Inman takes shelter in her toasty kitchen and cooks up a winter storm of desserts. For her, the shorter, darker days mean it’s time to warm up house and hearth with comforting sweets made with Mother Nature’s cold weather bounty. Not into fussy holiday baking and elaborate concoctions, Inman has put together a satisfying collection of...
Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home begins with what could be considered an exercise in obviousness: “Look around you. If you’re at home, chances are you see room for improvement.” Whether this is the understatement of the year or a mere nudge to mindfully edit existing décor, author Julie Carlson of Remodelista.com has us covered. Literally, with ideas on how...
The genius writer as self-destructing alcoholic is a cliché, but as with all clichés, it originates in truth. Faulkner, Dylan Thomas, Poe, Dorothy Parker, Anne Sexton—it gets to be a very long list once you begin compiling. In The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, Olivia Laing offers a singular amalgam of biography, memoir, travelogue and literary criticism as...