Month: March 2014

  • What an amazing life she led

    Some books are entertaining but unapologetically superficial, a good read or listen but nothing more. That’s fine, and sometimes, that’s exactly what we want. Other books are richer and more complex, telling a good story, to be sure, but also offering layers of memorable information and insight. Such is the new novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. […]

  • The wolves in our woods

    Like Tom Dillon, I’ve seen red wolves. Years ago, when my older son spent several summers helping with biological research at Cade’s Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, he took us to see a few wolves that were kept in pens as part of the reintroduction effort there. Then one day when I […]

  • What is real?

    Sometimes, when she’s not writing historical novels or modeling Tudor costumes at book events, Anne Barnhill amuses herself by reading a good thriller. Reviewed by Anne Barnhill THE OTHER TYPIST. By Suzanne Rindell.  G. P. Putnam and Sons. 354 pages.  $25.95. In her debut novel, Suzanne Rindell dishes up a delicious psychological thriller, a cold […]

  • Spinning a good tale

    Before the textile mills came to my home state of North Carolina, they were major economic forces in New England. This fascinating historical novel by the author of The New York Times bestseller The Dressmaker is built around the true story of a murder at textile mill in Massachusetts that was one of the first […]

  • The more things change …

    Anne Barnhill’s second historical novel, Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter, is set to be released March 18.  The indomitable Anne finished this novel and moved on to start work on her next book despite her recent battle with cancer. And now, I’m happy to say, she’s also managed to contribute another review to Briar Patch Books. Reviewed […]

  • Art, life and wild animals in the attic

    Years ago, when she wrote op-ed columns for The New York Times and I worked on a newspaper editorial page, I loved Anna Quidlen’s work. Her columns were well written and insightful, a welcome change from the humdrum, the strident and the boringly predictable that I read day in and day out. I had somehow […]