Reading Room Blog
A gray day, perfect for revisiting a twitchy acquaintance: Edgar Allan Poe. Roderick Usher and family inhabit their cracked, creepy house in one of his best short stories, “The Fall of the House of Usher." The Poe story has been used by other authors since he wrote it, even made into an opera. One offers a different perspective from Roderick Usher’s doomed sister, Madeline; the other features the descendants of Madeline and Roderick, from a master of modern horror, Robert McCammon.
There’s the car, the landscape, the people in the car, and the baggage, both real and psychological. Americans love a road trip, but this time of year, even if gas is cheap, the weather may hinder a real road trip, so grab one of these books and travel from your couch.
“The sharper your knife, the less you cry.”
Chefs dominate the cooking industry; the big ones have TV shows, cookbooks, their own magazines. Because of them, there are cooking shows for every taste and better produce in your local market. Here is a selection of notable memoirs; two of the authors uplifted home cooking in America.
I have a challenge for readers of Speak, by Louisa Hall. Read the first chapter and stop. Ask yourself, is the narrator human?
Professor Jeremy Logan’s job title raises eyebrows on a regular basis. Logan is an enigmalogist, a scientist who investigates unexplained or paranormal events—all the while using logical, scientific methods to prove that mysterious origins may exist.
Tom Rob Smith’s debut novel, Child 44, kicks off an addicting trilogy that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
In 1955, Anne Morrow Lindbergh penned what has become one of the most inspirational books in the 20th century, Gift from the Sea. Drawing from her years of marriage and motherhood, as well as her work as a writer, Mrs. Lindbergh writes of the various stages of a woman’s life, comparing them to the different seashells she finds on the beach of her vacation cottage. Each shell, each stage, has its assets and drawbacks, but the thread of continuity is what it means to be a woman and how to approach each stage without losing one’s self.
Carter and Sadie Kane are brother and sister, but since they barely get to see each other, it’s awkward every time they do. It’s been years since their mom’s tragic, mysterious death, and now 12-year-old Sadie lives with her grandparents in England and goes to private school while 14-year-old Carter travels the world with his dad, a famous Egyptologist.
Sadie’s a rebel, and Carter’s the grounded one, and each one thinks the other has it easier. But this winter visit is beyond awkward. It’s downright dangerous. The Kane family’s troubles are far from over, and Carter and Sadie will have to learn to rely on each other as their magical legacies are revealed.
Quentin Coldwater is used to being the smartest person in the room. Some would even call him a genius. Even in the world of elite private schools, Quentin is bored out of his mind, finding his only escape in the fictional world of Fillory. Fillory is a fantasy realm existing in a series of books from his childhood, books which years later still resonate with him as a young adult. Quentin’s ho-hum existence is interrupted and forever changed when he is spontaneously transported to Brakebills University, a school for people like Quentin who have the potential to perform magic, real magic.