So with my next blogiversary approaching, I've been doing a lot of thinking.

I still read quite a bit. Books will always be important to me. But book blogging isn't very important to me anymore, and hasn't been for a while. And the identity I've built as Boston Bibliophile no longer seems to fit.

It started almost five years ago when my husband and I moved to New York. But it wasn't just the geographic change. Life just moved away from the book world for me, even though I'm on my second bookstore job in the NYC area at the moment. And the book blogging world has changed so much. Most of the friends I started blogging with have gone on to other things, and the community is something I don't recognize anymore.

Life for me is more about quilting and crafts these days. I just finished a term as president of the guild I belong to, and that community, my college alumnae community and my community service work keep me going these days. I barely see or talk to most of my book friends.

I do still read and books will always be a central part of my life. But Boston Bibliophile? It's time to move on.

I want to thank each and every person who reads this blog, especially after all this time. Being a book blogger changed my life. It brought friendships I cherish and opportunities I'm thankful for. So thank you all for your support and kindness over the years. The reviews will stay up and the URL will be here. But I'll be in my craft room sewing stuff, when I'm not reading.



I've added a bunch of good-looking books to my shelf over the past month or so. Here are some I'm particularly looking forward to reading.

Herman Koch, author the crazy-good Dinner, has a new book coming from Hogarth in June, The Ditch, about another morally-challenged European and the shenanigans he gets into. I have avoided him since The Dinner made me want to hide under my sofa, but I'm ready to dive back in.

I can't resist Ian McEwan and while spec fic doesn't excite me too much, I haven't read him in a while and want to see what he's up to these days. I gather Machines Like Me, out in April, is about a robot.

The Pisces, by Melissa Broder, is out in paperback now; it's about an unconventional romance between a young woman and a merman. The reviews on it are mixed and polarized, which I love- either way I'm bound to have a strong reaction.

Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli, is kind of a hipster-it-book, "an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border–an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity." It's out in hardcover now and making some serious waves.

Finally when I was in Los Angeles I picked up 手机修改ip为美国加速软件 at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore near San Diego- and what a cool bookstore that was. Blackfish City is a Hugo-nominated science fiction novel about a floating city in the Arctic after climate change has wrought big changes to the world.  I'm looking forward to it.

What's new on your bookshelf?


We Are Living in a Golden Age of TV Literary Adaptations

There, I said it.

And it's probably a fairly uncontroversial point. I was thinking about this as I was watching the Fox adaptation of Justin Cronin's The Passage, about to enter the wind-down phase of season one. I don't think it's been announced yet whether there will be a season two; I certainly hope so. And this adaptation is far from literal or perfect. But it's good enough to keep me watching and hoping for more.

That said, there is so much else out there, and so much more coming up. Between Netflix and the other streaming services, and cable, and even the occasional network offering like "The Passage" it's a great time to be a book fan and a TV fan too. It's like us book nerds no longer have to choose; we can read our favorite books and indulge in the TV version too. We don't have to look down our noses at TV (or pretend to) because TV is giving us what we love- our favorite books.

Of course the biggest thing on the horizon is the eighth and final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones," based on the epic and as-yet-unfinished fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. That's opened the door not just for more Martin TV shows, which are coming, but for other fantasy/science fiction adaptations as well. Once executives realized there was actual money to be made from catering to us, the floodgates opened up. So we've got "Umbrella Academy" on Netflix, and "The Magicians" from SyFy and "Lovecraft Country" coming from HBO and Jordan Peele.

The list goes on and on but it's not restricted to comics and fantasy. HBO's "Big Little Lies" and "My Brilliant Friend" are great shows designed to appeal to women. "The Man in the High Castle" from Amazon was adapted from hard-science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick. "The Son," on AMC was adapted from a wonderful book by Philipp Meyer and "The Goldfinch" based on Donna Tartt's Pulitizer winner is forthcoming later this year. We're even getting a "Good Omens," based on the popular novel cowritten by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. My husband's gonna be all over that one.

You can visit this article on Bibliofile.com for more information on this year's upcoming book-to-TV shows.

It's an amazing time to be a reader and a TV watcher.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The only book from the last post I'm still on is The Widow Clicquot, and I'm still really enjoying it. If you are interested in business, wine or women's stories, it's a great read.

My subway read is Los Angeles Noir, a yummy crime anthology I picked up at The Last Bookstore during January's California trip. It's a mixed bag, as these things usually are, but very enjoyable. Crime is a great palate cleanser in between more "serious" books. Not that crime writing isn't serious or important. It can tell us a lot about people and ideas that don't get explored much in more "literary" fiction. But it also has a distinct tone. And it's fun.

Bedside I'm starting Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret, by Craig Brown. I'm not a royal watcher (or admirer) but I've heard great things from people I respect about this book and I'm curious.

My current hardcover fiction read is October, by Zoë Wicomb, a South African writer who is telling a story about a middle aged woman who comes back to South Africa from a life she's built in Scotland. So far, so good.

What are you reading as February is winding down? What are you looking forward to? I need to do a post about new galleys and upcoming books I'm excited about. What about you?


It's My Birthday! And It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Happy Birthday to me! I get to spend today sewing, reading and eating- a perfect day.

Betraying Big Brother, by Leta Hong Fincher, is a fascinating overview of the rise of feminism in modern-day China and the price many activists have paid for standing up for dignity and equality.
The Widow Cliquot is Tilar Mazzeo's biography of Barbe-Nicole Cliquot Ponsardin, the Frenchwoman who took over a fledgling champagne company and built into a powerhouse, in 19th century France no less. It's really interesting both about her and about the wine industry as well. I'm doing this on audio and enjoying it very much.

Insurrecto is a weird book by Gina Apostol, about a woman making a movie in the Philippines and her father, a renowned artist. I'm still in the opening pages so I can't say too much more.

Finally I'm enjoying Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje, about two children growing up in post-War Britain and the secrets their family keeps long after the war is over.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review: French Exit, by Patrick DeWitt

French Exit, by Patrick DeWitt. Published 2018 by Ecco. Audiobook narration by Lorna Raver.

As some of you may know I was a pretty big fan of Patrick DeWitt's 2011 Booker-Prize-nominated comedy 怎么把手机的ip地址改到国外. So much so that I honestly hesitated to read his latest, French Exit, for fear that I would be disappointed and not have the same delightful experience. Well I needn't have been afraid.

The premise of 如何将手机改成国外的ip地址is a little less enticing, I have to admit- wealthy widow and man-child son lose their money and must spend their declining time in, of all places, Paris. Poor dears! But the physical location is only incidental to their situation; it barely even registers, honestly. They could be anywhere; what matters is what's going on inside them.

Frances Price is the stunning widow of Franklin Price and the survivor of a scandal that she caused when her husband died. Malcolm is their 30ish son, who still lives with his mother, has no profession and few relationships of any kind. There is Susan, a woman who loves Malcolm, and a cat, Small Frank, who seems attached to Frances for some reason. Frances has a friend named Joan, another wealthy woman who lends Frances and Malcolm her Paris apartment when Frances discovers that their money is gone and they are about to be evicted from their home. Quickly selling what possessions she can, Frances takes her son, her cat and a wad of Euros on a one-way cruise to the Continent, where she picks up a ragtag assortment of friends and enacts a plan.

Patrick deWitt's sense of black humor and his pitch-perfect character building, not to mention talent for the arch phrase and knowing wink of the pen (if there is such a thing) make this story absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed every minute. Lorna Raver's narration shapes the book into theater, with her slightly scratchy, mannered Frances and lumbering-dolt Malcolm especially good. The ending is predictable and the book takes a turn towards the bittersweet at its approach; nevertheless I was still shocked at the last-minute violence of it. It's just a wonderful book, frivolous in just the right way and serious when it counts.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary audiobook from libro.fm.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Last year I set a general intention to read from my hardcover pile so that I could finally get to some books I'd carted around through a few moves over the past few years- and I did that, I read a bunch and sold them and made room for new stuff. (But I have bought fewer books than I read, and actually opened up some room on the shelves.) This year I'm going to try to get the pile down by another third. I have thirty or so hardcover fiction titles right now so after I get through ten of them, I'll start on

I've collected quite a few advance copies over 12 years of book blogging and book selling; I read them steadily but just like the hardcovers there are a bunch that I've hauled from place to place too. I'd like to get to some of the dustier ones and then send them on their way. (Don't worry- I don't sell them. I leave them on a table in the hallway of my building for my neighbors.)

I'd like to read between 10 and 20 nonfiction titles bedside in 2019. I was reading nonfiction at the gym but I haven't been going as much lately and haven't been reading much when I am there, so maybe it's back to magazines for a while.

Last year I read 16 books by people of color; I'd like to get that number up to between 20 and 25. I'm starting off strong with My Own Country by Abraham Verghese and There There by Tommy Orange. I can cherry pick from my hardcovers and ARCs and nonfiction too. It's just a matter of making choices.

Reducing Paper
I'm making a vow to only buy craft e-books; no new paper quilting books in 2019. The only things I should print out are sewing templates that get recycled after use.

Last year I read 70 books. I don't know if I can reach that number again this year; I read a lot of books in holding rooms on background jobs, and I don't anticipate doing much background in 2019. My goal is going to be a more modest 50 books, including audio. We'll see if I make it- or exceed it.
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