Bookish in the Mitten

Book reviews, book recommendations, book talk, and a little knitting

Words don’t come easily; reading this collection of short stories, I discovered beauty and I unearthed unpleasant attitudes toward others, both express and implied, which I can’t ignore. The book is not exclusively beautiful or exclusively ugly; it’s both. The collection contains finely crafted scenes in which every bird, tree, or blade of grass is …

Continue reading

Travels With Charley (1962) chronicles John Steinbeck’s road trip from New York to California and back again, with his dog Charley as his travel companion.   I read Charley about ten years ago, and refreshed my memory by reading the Wikipedia article HERE.  In my reading, I learned that Steinbeck seems to have fabricated many …

Continue reading

Betty Smith’s story of Francie Nolan’s growing-up years is the story of Francie’s mother Katie, her father Johnny, her brother Neely, and her aunts, uncles, and neighbors – but it’s also the story of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s as seen through the eyes of a child, a teen, and finally a young adult. Like …

Continue reading

There are so many interesting resources online about Laura Ingalls Wilder that I will not try to incorporate them into the narrative (with one exception); see a list of links at the end of the post. Throughout a good portion of my childhood I read and re-read most of the “Little House” series, Laura Ingalls …

Continue reading

I realized after compiling this list that each story takes place in a different country. The Bridge of Sighs (Olen Steinhauer, 2004) – First in the Yalta Boulevard Sequence, Cold War spy fiction that I found engrossing. Five books total in the series. I hope he writes more. Recommend. Whose Body? (Dorothy Sayers, 1923) – …

Continue reading

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. You probably know you’ve seen it somewhere if you are reading this blog. You may even know it’s the first sentence of Rebecca, the ultimate gothic novel written in 1938 by Daphne du Maurier.  The cast of characters includes: penniless, naïve young woman, overbearing employer, dashing …

Continue reading

Magical Realism – a literary device or genre in which the author sends a breath of whimsy into the ordinary world they have created. . . . Imagine walking down a city sidewalk. Your arm brushes against the low-hanging branch of a tree, which causes blossoms to fall from the tree. As they fall, the …

Continue reading

Katherine (Kit) Tyler, fresh from Barbados, is in for a rude awakening as she shows up on the doorstep of her maternal aunt’s household in Connecticut Colony in 1685.  Friendship, hard work, love, courage, illness, courtship, threats of violence complete with angry villagers carrying torches (or at least that was my impression), and once again, …

Continue reading