Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Difference Between a Great Novel and Great Potential

Sometimes, as a lover of the arts, I find myself deeply dissatisfied with something that a whole lot of People Who Matter are praising to the high heavens.

Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife is a case in point. Garnering enough honors and prizes to send an octogenarian writer on to the next life with a happy smile, this first novel by a baby-faced 26-year-old just barely missed snagging the National Book Award.

The world is always, it would seem, ready to anoint a young artist as the season’s newest genius. But true genius—like true love, in my opinion—can only prove itself over the course of time. [Click here to listen to listen to my two-minute-long book review of The Tiger's Wife, originally broadcast on NPR affiliate KRCB.]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looking for a great new book to read?

As the days get shorter and colder, a lot of us denizens of the Northern Hemisphere want nothing more than a cup of something delicious and a reliably wonderful book we can read by the fire.

I've become the on-air book reviewer for my local NPR radio affiliate, KRCB - and I just happen to have some great new novels and short story collections to recommend to you and your reading group, should you belong to one.

Over the next few days I'll post mp3 files of my favorites. Click and listen. Each review is only two or three minutes long.

What a joy to find a work of fiction as beautifully luminous and utterly engaging as Jean Thompson’s new novel, The Year We Left Home.

The story of one Iowa family, this novel left me agog with admiration for Ms. Thompson’s mastery of the craft of writing [...] Please listen to my full review here.

Barbara Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins Book Signing

Barbara Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins Book Signing
Barbara Quick

My Garden

My Garden
My flower and strawberry garden (bathtub view)