5 Most Popular Posts: April 2022
- May 2, 2022
We love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. But all kidding aside, here are April’s winners.
- Diana Pabst Parsell’s review of A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS by Jennet Conant (Simon & Schuster). “Impressively, Conant manages to make the various storylines of this sprawling book coherent and engaging despite the galloping narrative style and thick layering of details. Even where the story digresses it proves interesting because of the many personal anecdotes that capture the drama and excitement of what it was like being part of early cloak-and-dagger operations. In one scene, we share tight quarters with Julia and her female OSS companions as they sail to Ceylon on a ship carrying 3,000 GIs. ‘Julia launched a rumor that we were missionaries,’ which helped curb the whistles and wolf calls, one of the women recalled.”
- Tara Laskowski’s review of The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose (Ballantine Books). “The work that goes into an immaculate hotel room often goes unnoticed. One walks into the finished product and appreciates its elegant simplicity, everything crisp and delightful and new. This is how I feel about The Maid, Nita Prose’s short-but-memorable debut crime novel. It’s such a pleasure to experience, readers won’t realize all the behind-the-scenes hard work that goes into crafting such a fun and surprising mystery.”
- “It’s an All-Star Lineup!” “The 2022 Washington Writers Conference is thrilled to welcome you back in person on May 13-14! In addition to our one-on-one agent-pitch sessions, we’ll have an exciting array of panels covering everything from the business of writing to specialized craft workshops. Just who will be there? We’re glad you asked!” [NOTE: The conference is now SOLD OUT. If you missed your chance to register, we’ll see you in 2023!]
- “The Harsh Lessons of Frankenstein” by Dorothy Reno. “And therein lies the central psychological question of Frankenstein: Who is the real monster? To grapple with this question, we must sort our baggage. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was an instant hit upon publication in 1818, but contemporary readers are more likely to have been influenced by the 1931 movie starring Boris Karloff. Though dangerous, the movie-monster’s childlike disposition inspires our sympathy. It’s this monster we think of, with his lumbering gait and square-head, not the watery yellow eyes and decaying skin of Shelley’s original.”
- Nyah Hardmon’s review of Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Black Cat). “Still, this book isn’t perfect. But neither is love. Neither is life. While its lyrical nature is one of its most appealing aspects, the narrative sometimes becomes too reliant on obscurity at the expense of clarity and brevity. In moments as tender as the physical joining of two bodies, the intimacy should speak for itself; flowery metaphors only cloud the beauty. Yet even with the author’s word choice booming like a yell when I, at least at times, would’ve appreciated a whisper, I understand. Love is exciting. It makes me want to yell, too.”