Entertainment comes in a variety of packages. Reading an interesting historical novel is one package to unwrap in order to enter a different world far away, while the plant sale during August at the Anniston Museums’ Botanical Gardens can offer the fun of selecting lively colors and shapes f…
There’s every good chance that, when they reach its final page, every reader of “Before You Go,” the bittersweet debut novel of Tommy Butler, will sit back, smile knowingly and realize they have completed one of the most satisfying novels of the year.
Two epigraphs at the beginning of “Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir” provide moving signposts through this heartfelt and heartbreaking homage to her mother by poet Natasha Trethewey.
We first took a look at “The Ickabog,” J. K. Rowling’s new work for young readers, after 19 weekday chapters had been published online. Since the book was being published in “installments,” it was decided that this column should review the book in “installments,” too, joking, “New ways of pu…
To think of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe is to experience at least one incontrovertible shudder. How can an early story like “The Masque of the Red Death” so ably reference our current pandemic? How can a late story like “The Cask of Amontillado” make us laugh so willingly at another perso…
Both “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “The Birth-mark,” two of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic short stories, reflect the author’s concern with what are often identified as the opposing forces of religion and science. They are both forces in which Hawthorne finds potential danger and potential …
Any reader is going to immediately smile remembering “Rip Van Winkle,” Washington Irving’s legendary yarn of the Catskills. Most readers will probably not even recognize “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” as one of the many tales from Nathaniel Hawthorne.
“The Natural” is the first book published by Bernard Malamud, and now is the perfect time to take a look at this early novel, either for the first time or once again.
Sixty years after its publication, “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson remains as absorbing — and as frightening — as it ever was.
Author J. K. Rowling’s gift to her legions of readers during this time of pandemic and isolation is “The Ickabog,” a wonderfully convoluted fairytale about a monster that might not actually exist.
When I recently opened my prized hardbound copy of “Goodbye, Columbus,” out of the flyleaf fell three pieces of correspondence from its author Philip Roth.
Adolescence never really becomes the subject of wide-ranging scrutiny in the works of Carson McCullers, until her moving consideration of Frankie Addams in “The Member of the Wedding.”
“The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cautionary fable of the Roaring Twenties of the last century, remains a work from which we can still learn a thing or two.
Since it was first read to me (and the rest of my third grade class by our teacher, and from my first copy of the book, gifted me by my father), I have no idea how many times Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has delighted, transfixed, angered and instructed me every decade o…
Can it be that Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden, or, Life in the Woods” was 175 years old just a year ago? Can it be that “Walden” just might bear more than a passing resemblance to the lives we are living right now?
Anyone taking another look at Truman Capote’s fanciful, tender short novel “The Grass Harp” will certainly be touched by the book’s examination of a young man’s search for place. But it’s possible the book will resonate more in other ways just now.
Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published on July 11 exactly 60 years ago. It’s never been out of print. I still find myself returning to my paperback edition from 1962.
The current pandemic has changed our lives in very specific ways. What we’ve taken as our normal for the past few years no longer really holds. Over the past few weeks what was usual has been altered. There’s been unanticipated time in our homes and with our families. There has been new cont…
“Redhead by the Side of the Road” is the exquisite new character study from the pen of Anne Tyler, a writer whose wit and humanity seem to be as vigorous as ever.
Every so often, a novel appears that surprises with its honesty, its poetry, its humanity. “Valentine,” an astonishing debut from Elizabeth Wetmore, is such a book.
There’s a definite feeling of dread that permeates the pages of “Weather,” the latest novel from Jenny Offill.
Whether the allusion is to the dwelling or its inhabitants, the titular “House of Trelawney” of Hannah Rothschild’s second novel is not in particularly tidy order.
Gish Jen’s new novel “The Resisters” is a heady mash-up of so many different literary genres that you keep waiting for it to fall flat on its many faces. It never does.