RT Daily Blog

Very Short Reviews Of Difficult Books

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 19, 2014 | PERMALINK

Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the venerable prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.

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Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger .

A treatise on mysticism mixed with a sitcom, starring two neurotic, smart and extremely American kids. Franny torments herself thus: "Just because I’m choosy about what I want — in this case, enlightenment, or peace, instead of money or prestige or fame or any of those things — doesn’t mean I’m not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else.”

Plot: A young girl is sick due to a book (where a Russian guy reads a book).

Rating: 97 out of 100.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


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Mainstream Overview: March

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 13, 2014 | PERMALINK

Come a little closer, we'll tell you a secret … don't tell a soul, but this month’s mainstream recommendations are built on secrets! As these books reveal, some risks are worth taking and others can lead to disastrous consequences. Take a look at our mainstream choices for March:

Cover of Always Unique by Nikki Turner

In Rachael Herron’s Pack Up the Moon, Kate Monroe’s life is nothing short of chaotic. It’s been three years since her former husband killed their terminally ill son — or was it an accident? To make matters more complicated, the daughter she gave up for adoption 22 years ago tracks Kate down. Kate never told her ex-husband about her daughter, and it's time to face the consequences.


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Very Short Reviews Of Difficult Books

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 12, 2014 | PERMALINK

Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the venerable prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.

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Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

A world just a bit more extreme than ours created by a talented writer who will hold your attention for many pages — but not all of them. Tons of footnotes in a book with so many pages made me stop reading at page six hundred-and-something. 

Plot: In an allegorical world where everyone’s on drugs, some allegorical (and addicted) characters are looking for the ultimate drug.

Rating: 73 out of 100.

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus


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Into the Archives with Robyn Carr

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 10, 2014 | PERMALINK

Small-town romance is a big part of the contemporary genre these days, and its ubiquitous awesomeness is thanks in part to Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series, which was so popular our family members were calling in all sorts of favors to get their hands on the titles ASAP. (We felt used.) This month, Robyn’s got a mainstream title coming out, Four Friends. But for such an awesome author who’s been writing for so long, where to begin? We asked Robyn to pick her top five favorites, and she obliged. And so we go … Into the Archives with Robyn Carr.  

The House on Olive Street cover

1. The House on Olive Street, which began my nice run in women's fiction at MIRA, is a fun and touching ensemble cast of women, but believe me they've got teeth. This was my first "girlfriend" book and I fell in love with that genre, if it is a genre. Give me a bunch of women with very individual wants and needs but a common dilemma and mountains can be moved. The joy I felt writing this book inspired me to write Four Friends.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream, Romance
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Very Short Reviews Of Difficult Books

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 05, 2014 | PERMALINK

Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the precious prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.

 

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Hamlet by William Shakespeare

You may wonder why this book is considered a classic, despite the fact that it seems almost unreadable. The answer is that a few wonderfully written pages contain all of your most torturous questions, plus the only possible answer no answer — in the best possible way. 

Plot: Hamlet wants revenge, one thing leads to another and everybody dies.

Rating: 99.9 out of 100 

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien


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Very Short Reviews Of Difficult Books

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, FEBRUARY 26, 2014 | PERMALINK

Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide of some sort to help us through the precious prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.

 

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Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The world's epic spirit can be found anywhere: Melville illustrates this by making whaling into a mythical saga. You'll be tempted to skip the explanatory bits on how to grease a harpoon, but then you'd risk missing out on some allegory, so you have to read the whole thing.

Plot: A crippled captain wants revenge, he fails and (almost) everyone dies.

Rating: 99 out of 100.

The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil


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Extended Review: Sophie Littlefield's House Of Glass

BY Cyndy Aleo, FEBRUARY 24, 2014 | PERMALINK

cover of Sophie Littlefield's House Of GlassSophie Littlefield's House of Glass is an insidious book. When you first start reading, it feels a bit like women's fiction. There's Jen Glass, who's made a life for herself after growing up poor. And she's living this sort of storybook existence where even with her husband out of work, they still have plenty of money. But her daughter is a typical uncommunicative teen and her young son has psychological issues that have led to selective mutism, and her husband may or may not be having an affair. 

It's with this sense of familiarity that Littlefield sucks you into a story filled with more horror than your average Stephen King novel. It's scary precisely because of how grounded in reality it is; from the everyday family problems to how Jen's nightmare escalates, this could happen to any of us, at any time, and like Jen, we see no way for her or her family to prevail.


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Mainstream Overview: February

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, FEBRUARY 20, 2014 | PERMALINK

Life is built on a series of cycles. Rain falls, evaporates and falls again. We wake, live our days, sleep, and wake to do it all again. And, most importantly, people die, leaving the rest of us to mourn and live on. In this month’s mainstream overview, we’re taking a look at a fresh batch of enthralling reads featuring characters who find new meaning in their lives following the tragic deaths of loved ones.

In Sharon Sala’s The Curl Up and Dye, former darling of Blessings, Colorado, LilyAnn Bronte used to have it all: looks, popularity, intelligence, a crown from her Peachy-Keen Queen title — and the star quarterback, Randy Joe. But when he’s deployed to Iraq and doesn’t make it back home, LilyAnn’s life is turned upside. With her friends from the Curl Up and Dye salon, LilyAnn tries to regroup and rally. And when T.J. Lachlan comes to town, reminding her of Randy, LilyAnn must find her strength once and for all.


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Mainstream Overview: January

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 27, 2014 | PERMALINK

Nothing is as it seems in this overview of our favorite January mainstream reads. This time, we’re adding a little magic and supernatural spice to the mix! So hold on tight, because this is going to be a magical ride!

Fans of CBS’s Ghost Whisperer are sure to devour Karen White’s Return to Tradd Street. Melanie Middleton has a lot on her plate: she’s single, pregnant and struggling to decide whether or not she should marry her baby’s father, Jack Trenholm. To top it all off, her ability to communicate with ghosts has disappeared thanks to her pregnancy. When the remains of a child and a malicious ghost surface in her haunted home, Melanie must get to the bottom of things — and fast.


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Exclusive Excerpt: Sarah Addison Allen's Lost Lake — with Giveaway!

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 23, 2014 | PERMALINK

Oh readers, it's real cold outside. The snow isn't quite so shimmery anymore. And it's only Thursday. So let's all take an excerpt break, shall we? Today for you we've got Sarah Addison Allen's RT Top Pick! Lost Lake. It's the story of a grieving Kate, who moves with her son to her great aunt's cabins in Lost Lake, Ga., to try and get over the death of her husband. RT reviewer Melissa Parcel calls this one a "truly great read to be savored." Curious? Read on, and enter below for a chance to win!


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