The Rules of Civility

The Rules of Civility Miriam R. Kramer As we enter fall, I decided to snuggle with my sleepy pug and a lyrical story of young New Yorkers set in a moneyed, elite world at the end of the Great Depression. Amor Towles, also known for his celebrated A Gentleman in Moscow, has constructed an alternately […]

Clock Dance

Clock Dance Miriam R. Kramer Anne Tyler has had a weighty influence on American letters with her prolific collection of novels, which include the excellent Breathing Lessons, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, and her twentieth book, A Spool of Blue Thread, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Her latest work, Clock Dance, […]

Family Stories

Family Stories Miriam R. Kramer   “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy’s famous introduction to Anna Karenina is equally applicable to two recent novels: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, and The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Both feature their own brands of magic, joy, and personal […]

Girls of the Resistance

Girls of the Resistance Miriam R. Kramer In July books become a necessary accompaniment on vacation, whether you’re headed for the ocean, a pool, or a cabin in the woods. If you have a teenager traveling with you, you want to keep them reading during summer vacation with an intriguing piece of young adult fiction. […]

Robin

Robin By Miriam R. Kramer This past month entertainment writer Dave Itzkoff released Robin, an intriguing, detailed biography that tracks the hurtling comet of Robin Williams’ life and career, solving some mysteries, presenting others, and laying him to rest for his many fans. Many of us receive breaking news on our smartphones. On August 11, […]

A Higher Loyalty

A Higher Loyalty By Miriam R. Kramer In his fascinating memoir and treatise on leadership, A Higher Loyalty, former FBI Director James Comey discusses his trajectory in government service up until he unwillingly became a political lightning rod during and after the most bitterly contested and partisan presidential election in modern American politics. This work […]

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 […]