Jennifer Bort Yacovissi

Jennifer Bort Yacovissi grew up in Bethesda, MD, just a bit farther up the hill from Washington, DC, where her debut novel, Up the Hill to Home, takes place. The novel is a fictionalized account of her mother's family in DC from the Civil War to the Great Depression. In addition to writing and reading historical and contemporary literary fiction, Jenny reviews for both the Independent and the Historical Novel Society. She owns a small project-management and engineering consulting firm, and enjoys gardening and being on the water. Jenny lives with her husband, Jim, in Crownsville, MD. Click here to learn more about the families in Up the Hill to Home and to see photos and artifacts from their lives.


43 entries by Jennifer Bort Yacovissi

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Scaling (or not) the mountain that is my TBR stack

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The cartoonist serves as a happy, helpful tour guide through her favorite place on earth.

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Peter Ginna and a wide cast of contributors help to answer that question

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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

By Carmen Maria Machado

This impressive debut collection features tightly wrapped tales that combine a sense of the everyday and otherworldly dread.

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Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News

By Bob Schieffer with H. Andrew Schwartz

The veteran journalist offers a handbook for informed citizens and considers how we can all do better next time.

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The cathartic laugh/cry we all need, even if it’s painful.

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Set aside expectations of a conventional narrative in this unlikely combination of gangsters, strip clubs, and classical dance.

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The Ninth Hour: A Novel

By Alice McDermott

A deceptively quiet story that illuminates the profundity of everyday life.

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These gorgeous little book-length essays showcase compelling writing on an expanding array of the everyday.

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A captivating look at dueling theories on the origin and adaptability of species.

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Language shifts in real time.

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The decades-long fight for supremacy between two mammoth freighter lines.

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The Shark Club: A Novel

By Ann Kidd Taylor

This charming beach read delivers a memorable 6-year-old protagonist and less-than-memorable supporting characters.

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Like Mitch McConnell, you’ll laugh so hard that milk shoots out your nose.

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G-Man: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel

By Stephen Hunter

Guts, guns, and gangsters are all on display in this latest installment of the popular series.

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Publishers forgo fine-tuning at their peril

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Recapping the fifth-annual Washington Writers Conference

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An exhaustive dissection of virtually every experience that went into shaping our 44th president.

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Part biography, part history, part homage to manly men in the mercenary service of colonial overreach.

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Dark at the Crossing: A Novel

By Elliot Ackerman

In the murkiness of war, the good guys and bad guys are often interchangeable.

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The Guineveres: A Novel

By Sarah Domet

This promising debut with a curious premise doesn’t quite deliver.

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He may no longer be a household name, but after reading this captivating bio/memoir, you’ll never forget MacKinlay Kantor.

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The legendary illustrator delivers a rip-roaring fan bio that reminds us coitus isn't a recent invention.

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Commonwealth: A Novel

By Ann Patchett

The line between fiction and autobiography blurs in this wholly satisfying novel.

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Moving away from one man and toward another, a woman seeks to make peace with her past.

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Recalling a time when creative types could lose themselves — and find inspiration — in the utterly foreign.

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Savor this deeply researched love letter to every bibliophile’s favorite thing.

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A refreshingly non-partisan dissection of the social safety net’s unintended consequences

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Almost Everything Very Fast

By Christopher Kloeble; translated by Aaron Kerner

Two interconnected storylines about lost identities in Nazi Germany

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The Cabaret of Plants

By Richard Mabey

A fascinating, compulsively readable look at the lives — both outer and inner — of the flora all around us.

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The Loss of All Lost Things

By Amina Gautier

A masterful collection of stirring, deceptively simple tales.

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The Children’s Home

By Charles Lambert

This genre-bender is eerie and atmospheric but leaves way too many unanswered questions.

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A General Theory of Oblivion

By José Eduardo Agualusa; translated by Daniel Hahn

A fever dream plays out amid the chaos of Angolan independence.

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Like Family

By Paolo Giordano; translated by Anne Milano Appel

A brief but affecting illustration that we truly do choose our loved ones.

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The Big Green Tent

By Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Polly Gannon

A vast array of characters populates this dynamic, decades-spanning Russian novel.

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Intimately connected tales of love, family, and politics weave together this lyrical collection.

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Undermajordomo Minor

By Patrick DeWitt

This kinda-sorta fairytale has humor and quirky, undeniable charm.

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In the Language of Miracles

By Rajia Hassib

A broken family struggles to navigate the one-year anniversary of a community tragedy.

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Church of Marvels

By Leslie Parry

Quirky, colorful characters inhabit this delightful novel set in late-19th-century New York City.

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The Other Joseph: A Novel

By Skip Horack

Knowing up front that the protagonist is doomed doesn't make his loss any easier to bear.

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A History of Loneliness

By John Boyne

A fictionalized exploration of a real-life church scandal, told through the eyes of an Irish priest.