Archive for the ‘Historical’ category


I think one of the things that scares people about parenting is that frightening responsibility, that fear of doing something wrong, but you overcome that fear each day and when you go to sleep, you do it knowing an even greater love, and finding yourself capable of so much more than you could have imagined. Having someone’s life in your hands each day, being the center of someone’s world, is a terrifying reward in itself.

And the Mountains Echoed

Bleak mid-winter is not, perhaps, the ideal time for reading this dark tale and reviving old ghosts, but my love (and dread) of a good story endures; the beauty of Husseini’s writing is compelling and his ability to tell a good yarn is spellbinding.


Romantic love in German films is painful, and often fatal. French love is passionate, angry, and jealous. American love is cute and funny. The syntax of these fantasies is so hardwired in our brains that we’ve forgotten how to use our senses to truly observe love. We’ve forgotten how to read our interactions with others in a way that can allow us to understand what’s actually going on.

Bring Up The Bodies

The novel comes across to me, therefore, as a study of the role of those hidden, behind-the-scenes, unelected advisors and the power they can wield, with impunity, to great effect. Coming, as I do, from a background in human resource training and development and having a particular interest in leadership and human behavior, the book appeals on several fronts…

The Conspiracies of Dreams

…we have two characaters named Isaac and Rebecca who are rehearsing Milton’s Samson Agonistes as the play’s lead roles, Samson and Delilah. Perhaps the book was written for people who didn’t go to Bible school every Sunday for the first eighteen years of their lives, but I’m finding the presentation of the character parallels heavy-handed. I would have preferred a bit more subtlety and the chance to have an ‘Aha!’ moment…

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

I’m amazed at what I’ve learned about my own religion. I was brought up Jewish and educated in all the rules and rituals. As I grew older, I moved away from many of these rituals. It’s interesting (and sometimes moving) how a single image of Jewish men waiting for the sunset to…

The Lexicographer’s Dilemma

I started reading avidly for three reasons: I discovered that fiction was often much more interesting than my real life; I wanted to prove to everyone how smart I was through the number of books I could finish in a week; and I developed this little voice at the back of my head…

The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker looks at morality but takes it one step farther. It makes the reader question herself. Can you condemn someone for making a decision in a life-threatening situation? Can you argue that there is no way you would have made the same or similar decision? I’m constantly questioning whether or not I would be…