Category Archives: Books By Other People

Book Recommendations for You

A.J. Fikry does refer to blurbs as the “blood diamonds of publishing,” but nonetheless, here are a few books I’ve enjoyed (and blurbed!) over the past several months.

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My blurb: “The first rule of Dietland is you should definitely talk about Dietland. And I suspect you’ll want to. Gather your book clubs, gather all the Jennifers you know! At first you’ll think you’re reading a familiar story: a woman who works at a women’s magazine tries to lose weight. And then POW! Dietland  lithely moves in ways and to places you won’t expect. Sarai Walker has a wonderfully curious mind, and this is an impressive, ambitious first novel.”

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My blurb: “The Travels of Daniel Ascher is about the power of stories, particularly the ones we tell about ourselves. Within its svelte form, the novel packs in a love story (several actually), a family story, a war story, a mystery, a travelogue, and even a convincingly imagined children’s adventure series. All these strands weave together beautifully in this deftly plotted and deeply moving novel.”

Readers who enjoyed A.J. Fikry will very much respond to this one.

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My blurb: “SAINT MAZIE is a novel with as much style and moxie as its titular character. I missed Mazie Gordon-Phillips and her family when I was finished reading, but I missed New York, too. By telling this one woman’s story, Jami Attenberg has managed to write an ode to New Yorkers of every generation. She is a true poet of the city.”

I loved Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins, too.

For Young Adults:

game of love and death

THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH is a unique love story, and yet, it is also the love story of all humans through time. Martha Brockenbrough is a compassionate observer of many worlds—airfields, jazz clubs, baseball diamonds, newspapers, and Hoovervilles to name a few—and the beautiful, doomed human types that dwell in them. This is an exceptional novel.”

This book is indicated for young adults, but I’m confident adults will enjoy it.

Back in the day, your author photo could acceptably include you smoking a pipe.

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The Reason Anya Is Called Annie

You might find this surprising, but the series that most inspired me when I was writing the Anya Balanchine books was Anne of Green Gables.

This article by Sarah Mesle captures so much of what the Anne books meant and mean to me.

I love the quote Mesle uses at the end:

“Dear old world,” Anne murmurs, in what is to me her most important moment, “You are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” ― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web (Taken with Instagram)

The lie, of course, is more interesting.

John Irving (via theparisreview)

Saturday Wisdom #3: a rich interview with John Irving. I liked this part:

Titles are important; I have them before I have books that belong to them. I have last chapters in my mind before I see first chapters, too. I usually begin with endings, with a sense of aftermath, of dust settling, of epilogue. I love plot, and how can you plot a novel if you don’t know the ending first? How do you know how to introduce a character if you don’t know how he ends up? You might say I back into a novel.