I’ve never witnessed an actual sumo wrestling match, so this graphic novel about sumo caught my curiosity. Thien Pham’s Sumo (First Second, December 2012) follows Scott, an American college graduate who thought he was heading toward the NFL but didn’t make the cut and subsequently lost the love of his life, Gwen. A new opportunity […]

Reluctant muses

The Fairies Return compiled by Peter Davies

The Fairies Return, Or, New Tales for Old (Princeton University Press, October 2012), an anthology of revisioned fairy tales originally collected and published in 1934 by Peter Davies, was recently re-published. The collection offers unique, satirical versions of many of the beloved classics, but I was struck most by the biographical information regarding Peter Davies […]

Deck Z

deck z

Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon’s adult novel Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead. (Chronicle, September 2012) begins in early April, 1912, when German pathologist Theodor Weiss is summoned to Manchuria to investigate what appears to be a particularly virulent strain of plague. Weiss takes a recently infected victim to a laboratory to study the disease, […]

Fly blind, suggests Susan


Horn Book reviewer Susan Dove Lempke writes about being a proud defender of spoilers who met her Kryptonite in Code Name Verity. I recently listened to the fabulous audio edition of the book, and, despite, knowing how everything would turn out, found myself so taken in by the voice that I kept hoping the book […]

Finding the work-home balance

Navigating Early

Simultaneously trying to read, for work, Clare Vanderpool’s forthcoming Navigating Early (about two troubled boys in boarding school), and trying to read, for fun, Denise Mina’s latest The End of the Wasp Season (about two troubled boys in boarding school) has me positively confuzzilated. So far, Mina’s boys are in much bigger trouble, but they […]

and Joan Allen still gets the best lines

Pam Landy

Having loved the original trilogy so much, I had some misgivings about seeing The Bourne Legacy, with Jeremy Renner picking up where Matt Damon left off. Not quite–one of the neatest things about this movie is that for its largest part it takes place at the same time as The Bourne Ultimatum, the last of […]

Wait, what book did you read?


The other night, Pam and Richard and I were talking about Anna Karenina, which they had read and I am reading. Richard was making what seemed to me a very cogent point about the novel, that Anna seems less the focus than are the men surrounding her. Pam was partially agreeing, partially not; then as […]

Not so easy to be hard


I’m enjoying PW’s discussion of “The Top Ten Most Difficult Books.” (I’ve read some of most of them but haven’t finished any.) Could we make such a list of children’s books? We’d have to wrestle with the problem that difficulty in a children’s book is grounds for many to not consider it a children’s book, […]

What’s on YOUR summer reading list?


Lolly has designed a beautiful PDF of our annual summer reading list–please download and distribute as you will. I hasten to add that this is the good kind of s.r.l., one designed for pleasure reading, not to Improve you. I’m currently shuttling between (among?) Anna Karenina, William Langewiesche’s The Outlaw Sea, and Gillian Flynn’s Gone […]

Strange bedfellows: Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, and who?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Startlingly similar blurbs on the ARCs of these upcoming YA titles grabbed my attention. on Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury, August 2012): “perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin and Suzanne Collins” on Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Penguin/Razorbill, December 2012): “ideal for fans of George R.R. Martin and Kristin Cashore” As […]