Author: Betty Hafner

“The Goldfinch” Written by Donna Tartt

Mississippi-born writer Donna Tartt told an interviewer that she writes to create a work like the ones she loved as a child—“galloping, gleeful, you-don’t-know-what’s-going-to-happen-next.” Her stunning, almost 800-page novel “The Goldfinch” is overflowing with that spirit. With her elaborately constructed…

‘The Aviator’s Wife’ Written by Melanie Benjamin

Melanie Benjamin tells readers she was compelled to write “The Aviator’s Wife” (2013) to help people become familiar with “the truly operatic scale of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s life and marriage.” Yet readers will have to accept a blurred line between…

“The Rosie Project” Written by Graeme Simsion

When a friend recommended “The Rosie Project” (2013) to me, it sounded like a perfect read for this busy season: fast moving and hilarious. She was so right. Australian IT consultant-turned-writer Graeme Simsion struck gold with his breakout novel. Narrator…

“The Good House” Written by Ann Leary

Hildy Good is someone you will want to know. The outspoken narrator of Ann Leary’s 2012 novel “The Good House” takes you into her confidence right away, or so it seems. Leary’s 60-something character is a top-notch realtor in the…

‘Flora’ Written by Gail Godwin

Prize-winning author Gail Godwin has returned to her southern roots to weave a tight little tale in her newest novel, “Flora” (2013). Her narrator, writer Helen Anstruther, recounts a story set in the summer of 1945 when she is 10…

‘The Interestings’ Written by Meg Wolitzer

“The Interestings” (2013) is a big book in every sense of the word. The dense, almost 500-page novel follows a group of six teenagers who label themselves “The Interestings,” from their meeting in 1974 at Spirit-in-the-Woods camp for artistic teens…

‘The View from Penthouse B’ Written by Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman has delivered another sparkling, big-hearted and wise novel — her 10th — with “The View from Penthouse B” (2013). You don’t read Lipman’s fiction to do a deep dive into world issues or to challenge yourself to unravel…

‘Benediction’ Written by Kent Haruf

“Solemn.” That is the word I would use to describe the way I felt reading “Benediction” (2013), Kent Haruf’s newest novel. “Respectful,” I would call myself, of the close look he allows into the private lives of ordinary people. In…

‘The Sense of an Ending’ Written by Julian Barnes

When Julian Barnes’ elegantly crafted novel, “The Sense of an Ending,” won England’s 2011 Man Booker Prize, I vowed to read it immediately. Yet that little book with its puzzling title by an author I’d not yet read simply remained…

“Gone Girl” Written by Gillian Flynn

Hundreds of thousands of people have already read Gillian Flynn’s breakout suspense novel “Gone Girl” (2012), the story of a husband who becomes suspect when his beautiful, brilliant but high-strung wife disappears. Though I normally don’t go for thrillers, I…