Category: The Constant Reader

The Constant Reader: Two Sequels Worth the Wait

Photo | Submitted Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout

The authors of the two 2019 novels I consider here delayed producing sequels to their critically-acclaimed and commercially successful novels an unusually long time. “Olive, Again” is Elizabeth Strout’s follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 novel “Olive Kitteredge.” “The Big…

Recommendations from a Constant Reader

Goodreads, the book review and recommendations website I use to record my reading, reported that during my journey in books for 2019 so far, I have read 11,971 pages across 34 books with an average rating of 3.9 (on a…

Multiple Narrators Tell Suspenseful Stories in Two Novels

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

The joy that has enriched my life since early childhood resurged in two successive novels I read in September. Getting lost in a good story serves as a temporary escape from some of the pervasive anxiety, anger and sadness intrinsic…

Novelists Engage With Suspense, Sense of Time and Place

Photo | Submitted The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Two wonderful novels ended my summer — both suspenseful efforts by fine storytellers I’ve enjoyed before. Earlier this year, author Kate Quinn, known for her 2017 bestseller, “The Alice Network,” published another historical spy  novel, “The Huntress.” In the new…

History, Mystery and Romance Distinguish Winspear’s Latest Maisie Dobbs Novel

Photo | Submitted The American Agent by Jacqueline WInspear

Immediately upon learning that Jacqueline Winspear had published a new novel, I reserved it on the public library website and eagerly awaited my turn. Consistent with expectations based on previous experiences, “The American Agent,” no. 15 in the Maisie Dobbs…

It’s Greek for Me: ‘Circe’ Reimagines Sorceress as Heroine

Circe

I got back to the gods in May. No need for concern. I was not undergoing a spiritual transformation. Instead, I had the illuminating and pleasing experience of reading Madeline Miller’s “Circe.” The 2018 novel—its stunning cover art; its mix…

Curtis Sittenfeld Brings the Bennets to the 21st Century

Photo | Submitted "Eligible" by Curtis Sittenfeld is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

A few reasons inspired me to pick up Curtis Sittenfeld’s 2016 novel “Eligible.” Most important, I felt something light to read might alleviate the stress of my news-cycle obsession. Also, I had loved the St. Louis-based author’s four other novels,…