Book Reviews—Themes by Month

2009 Book Reviews — Themes

 . . . and the Books

Dec '09 — Domestic Disturbances
Marital bliss—a bumpy road toward a dubious destination. A sustaining marriage depends not on the ignorance of bliss but on self-knowledge.

The Motion of the Ocean
That Old Cape Magic
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Nov '09 — Criminally Addicted
Murder mysteries offer a strange sort of comfort by presupposing a world that can be known, answers found, and order restored. No wonder so many of us are addicted.

The Stephanie Plum Series
When Will There Be Good News?
The Woman in White

Oct '09 — Those Who Teach...Must
Teaching is in the DNA for some. It's a passion—a need, really, to offer young minds a glimpse of a wider world and guide them through the first rumblings of self-knowledge.

Ms. Hempel Chronicles
Mister Pip
The Prime of Miss Jean Brody

Sept '09 — Henry's Ladies
Henry James' most famous heroines are wealthy, young Americans—vibrant, intelligent yet untested innocents, who find themselves up against a rigid, even duplicitous society.

Daisy Miller
The Master
The Portrait of a Lady

Aug '09 — Municipal Bonds
Communities bind us together, for better or worse. They offer comfort and aid—and something larger than ourselves—but they can stifle and exclude.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet
Olive Kitteridge
The Hamlet

July '09 — The Kindess of Strangers
Those who stretch out a hand to strangers end up changing not just the lives of those they help, but their own lives as well.

The Cure for Modern Life
The Soloist
Bartleby the Scrivener 

May '09 — Chick Lit on Steroids
Real Chick Lit: vibrant heroines living rich, complex lives. Their stories give us a lot more to chew on than Prada shoes and Gucci bags.

Ex Libris-Confessions of a ... Reader
The Stone Diaries
Vanity Fair

Apr '09 — What Women Want. Really.
Earth to Freud.... Why was it so hard to for the great man to figure out what women want? Women want what men want—love, family, and freedom to pursue their dreams.

Good Grief
The Ten-Year Nap
The Feminine Mystique

Mar '09 — Animal Planet
This month's books honor those creatures that domesticate their owners.

Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Call of the Wild and White Fang

Feb '09 — Remembrance of Things Past
When we explore the past—the confluence of events, family and friends, choices made and made for us—we uncover our present selves.

Tender at the Bone
Charming Billy
Absalom, Absalom!

Jan '09 — The Gatsby Effect
What does it mean to be an American? This month's main characters attempt to re-invent themselves in order to achieve their ideal of the American dream.

The Great Gatsby

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