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Pythonga reads: A thrill and a bore

by anneMoore on August 26, 2013

Our dog was misbehaving in Pythonga so every morning after breakfast I’d take him for a long walk up the road. There he’d run ahead of me, into the woods, then scamper back, checking in with me. It was raspberry and almost blackberry season, so I brought a small tub with me, filling its base. That […]

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Books: Start and Stop Reading

by anneMoore on April 2, 2012

Wow. How many doorstoppers in a row? First, Peter Orner’s “Love and Shame and Love.” A great title! His story is multigenerational but so choppily told I lost interest in every character. Next, Anna Solomon’s “The Little Bride.” Another great title, well reviewed. I put it down two-thirds of the way through. If you put […]

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Books and Life: Reading Chicago and its Lake

by anneMoore on November 1, 2011

In the months after summer’s heat, Chicago’s crisp sunny days pull me, and my dog, to the beach. There’s no one there! My North Avenue beach is banked by man-made dunes. Get yourself beyond those and the beach offers a wide swath of sand pebbled with crushed shells. Also washed-up wood slabs from wave-smashed piers, […]

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I’m one of the few readers on earth who didn’t finish Erik Larson’s 2004 mega-hit, “Devil in the White City.” I had researched and written about the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago — the White City — so those chapters bored me. The serial killer chapters scared me. I couldn’t read it! Now Larson has […]

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Books: “Solar” by Ian McEwan

by anneMoore on April 25, 2011

Unexpected book grief. Ian McEwan’s “Solar” is that rare thing: a wickedly funny satire about science featuring a wholly unlikeable main character. I loved every page of it. When we first meet Michael Beard he’s 53 and fat, a Nobel-prize winning physicist riding the high-fee, high-calorie lecture circuit. His (fifth!) marriage is in shambles and […]

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Books: Trespass by Rose Tremain

by anneMoore on December 3, 2010

Why do we give authors second chances? Once burned, why invest again? Because books, and their creators, are like lovers: we may have parted but we want to recall the initial attraction. Rose Tremain’s “The Road Home” disappointed. It was so predictable: an immigrant comes to London, sleeps in a corner, lucks into better and […]

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Books: Await Your Reply

by anneMoore on May 19, 2010

Dan Chaon’s “Await Your Reply” (2009) is a beautifully told and highly compelling tale about identity: losing one, stealing others, gaining another (and another, and another). It’s rare that I finish a book and want to start reading it again, to figure out how the author pulled off such a clever feat of storytelling. This […]

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Books: A Satisfying Read

by anneMoore on April 7, 2010

Why do we read books that puzzle and confound? Earlier this week I was fortunate to join in a book club’s discussion of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland. I hadn’t talked about a difficult read, at length, with a group of smart, educated women since I was in college. Such interesting talking points: Does it matter if […]

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Books: The Lost Books of the Odyssey

by anneMoore on March 25, 2010

More book grief. Zachary Mason’s “The Lost Books of the Odyssey” is that rare thing: a retelling of a classic that holds you in its grip just as the original did. Will Odysseus survive the war? Will he finally return home to Ithaca? Will Penelope be waiting? Mason offers alternate tellings and endings for the […]

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Books: The Darling

by anneMoore on March 15, 2010

Can a book be grieved? It’s not a person, after all, or a beloved pet, or a plant you’ve cared for and coaxed into bloom each spring. It’s a book. I’ve said before that books are like lovers. Private companions. We take them to bed, tuck them into our bags, panic (as I did) when […]

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