Archive for the 'General' Category

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

…  A novel by J Ryan Stradal Reviewed for New York Journal of Books by Stevie Godson If Eva Thorvald—whose life we follow (more or less) from the time she’s born—ever prepares your food, rest assured it will taste exquisitely unlike anything you’ve ever eaten before. In Eva’s skillful hands, even the most mundane dishes are good enough […]

Urn-ing eternal life

I’M NOT given to thinking about my own demise very often – far too depressing, I find – but when I do, I try to focus on the drama of my farewell, stage manage it in advance, as it were. (Way in advance, I hope.) There was a time, for example – quite a long […]

Bugs and bonanzas

WE’VE been well and truly wamble-cropped in our house lately. As if it isn’t bad enough that I’ve been battling an evil, recurring infection for months, the beloved’s just been felled by a different kind of bug. I’ve been ducking and diving out of his germ-laden way as much as possible, but to no avail […]

Putting a name to it

IT BEGAN in the most unlikely way, my search for aptronyms. It was during the course of an animated cyber squabble some time ago about genetically modified produce. The “debate”, between a few like-minded journalists (myself included) and a large national retail chain, raged around certain social media websites for a while. Furious posts filled […]

Look who’s been cooking the books

WHEN I discovered, while researching the virtues of olive oil the other day, that the endearing Mma Ramotswe, of  No I Ladies’ Detective Agency fame, had put all her prize recipes into a cookbook, I knew it was one to avoid. I feared I’d enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s fictional character’s culinary creations far too much. […]

Between You & Me …

…  Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris Reviewed for New York Journal of Books by Stevie Godson   “Let’s get one thing straight right from the beginning,” says Mary Norris. “I didn’t set out to be a comma queen. The first job I ever had, the summer I was 15, was checking feet at […]

Typo Positive …

Prescient? (Sub-editing Fail – originally tweeted by @Bern_Morley)

The Mockingbird Next Door …

… Life With Harper Lee by Marja Mills Reviewed for New York Journal of Books by Stevie Godson   THERE can be few people in the English-speaking world who don’t know anything about Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which is more than can be said about the life of its author, the reclusive, elusive […]

My Salinger Year …

… by Joanna Rakoff Reviewed for New York Journal of Books by Stevie Godson   NEW York in the mid-1990s—not a bad place to be for a young woman with writerly aspirations, especially one who’s found work at one of the city’s many literary agencies. It was Joanna Rakoff’s dream job. “. . . there […]

Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins

Reviewed for New York Journal of Books by Stevie Godson   With an appetite for enchantment honed in the hillbilly setting of rural 1930s Appalachia where, as a boy he roamed free, Tom Robbins has always managed to imbue his novels with a captivating otherness. Interacting with a motley crew of “squirrel hunters, rabbit trappers, berry […]

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