The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Miriam R. Kramer   In March 2018 the New York Times ran a much-discussed article called “The Man Who Knew Too Little” about Erik Hagerman, an Ohio man who decided to avoid learning anything that happened in American culture after the November 8, 2016 election.[*] To this day he knows nothing […]

The Kremlin’s Candidate

The Kremlin’s Candidate Miriam R. Kramer By recently gobbling up Jason Matthew’s long-awaited new release The Kremlin’s Candidate, I finally finished his fascinating Red Sparrow trilogy: a spy novel trifecta focused on an intelligent, beautiful Russian double agent and her American CIA handler. While I had a few issues with this recent book, I can […]

Delta Ghosts

Delta Ghosts Miriam R. Kramer Jesmyn Ward’s complex National Book award winner, Sing, Unburied, Sing, lends itself to an alternative form of book review. She pens a tale that offers the reader rich treasures of myth, symbol, and folklore while building its story. Its plainspoken cast of characters, bedeviled by love and suffering, stumble along […]

A Fairy Tale in Russia

A Fairy Tale in Russia   Miriam R. Kramer   Russian folklore comprises dazzling fairy tales that take place in dark forests in the deep winter. Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale and recently published The Girl in the Tower are two lovely novels in a fantasy trilogy about Vasilisa Petrovna, a woman in […]

Discover Treasure at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center

Discover Treasure at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center By Cat Holladay James and the Giant Peach – First Edition Roald Dahl classic uncovered by intern in Library of Congress Young Readers Center. What started as a typical day in the Young Readers’ Center on the desolate lower level of the Library of Congress […]

A Pocketful of Mysteries

A Pocketful of Mysteries Miriam R. Kramer Despite our recent unseasonably warm weather, November will always be a month of shuffling through leaf piles and traveling to the Shenandoah and other mountain destination on leaf-peeping trips. We dig out our scarves and heavy coats to guard against frigid winds and autumn rains. Most of us […]

A Decade in Books

A Decade in Books Miriam R. Kramer This month is my tenth anniversary of writing this column. In 2007, I began penning reviews here while working part-time as an employee of Old Town’s Olsson’s Books & Records, which once reigned on South Union Street in the former warehouse where the restaurant Virtue Feed & Grain […]

Generation Wealth

Generation Wealth Miriam R. Kramer “Everyone wants to be rich. If they can’t be rich, the next best thing is to feel rich—and if they don’t want to feel rich, then they’re probably dead.” So says David Siegel, the time-share billionaire who continues to build a house planned to be the biggest in America, a […]

The Beach Books of August

The Beach Books of August   Miriam Kramer   In August the DC metropolitan area creaks to a halt as lazy days arrive for workaholic Washingtonians. Many wend their way to the beach or to the mountains. Some take a couple of days for a staycation. So peruse an admittedly incomplete list of beloved “beach […]

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale By Miriam R. Kramer As a teenager in 1986 I first ran across Margaret Atwood’s newly published work, The Handmaid’s Tale, at Old Town’s wonderful Olsson’s Books & Records, which formerly stood on S. Union Street in Alexandria. I was taken aback by the power and simplicity of her writing. This classic […]