Book Reviews

A big thanks to all the writers who work tirelessly at this lonesome trade. Without you I wouldn’t see the world in the myriad of ways you show me. You challenge my perception, make me empathetic, inspire anger and laughter, and sometimes you make me cry. But mostly you make me feel and think and think again. What on earth would I do without all of you?


I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer
A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous
Primo Levi – Survival in Auschwitz
Jane Austen: The Life and Times of the World’s Favourite Author
David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
Steve Jobs by  Walter Isaacson
Dispatches by Michael Herr
What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
The Trouble With Islam Today: A Wake-up Call for Honesty and Change by Irshad Manji
Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth
Tuesday’s With Morrie by Mitch Album
Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead by Charlene Li
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wall
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Monster by Sanyika Shakur aka Monster Kody Scott
Things They Carried by Tim O’brien


Rage by John Mavin
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Ru by Kim Thuy
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
Far to Go – Alison Pick
The Girl in the Blue Coat – Monica Hesse
Ian McEwan – The Children Act
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews
The Neopolitan Novels – Elena Ferrante – My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name
All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
Station Eleven Emily St. John Mandel
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
February – Lisa Moore
Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’neill
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
The Virgin  Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
A Visit From the Goon Squad By Jennifer Egan
The Lighthouse by Allison Moore Book Review
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
11 22 63 by Stephen King
Half-blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Solar by Ian McEwan
The Cellist of Sarajevo: Steven Galloway
White Oleander by Janet Fitch Guest blogpost by Savannah Morin
The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrug
The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou (2011)
Room Emma Donoghue (Guest review Savannah Morin)
Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men – David Foster Wallace
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Adulterer by Richard Wright
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
The Most Beautiful Book in the World by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Tolz
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The Book of Negroes (Someone Knows My Name) by Lawrence Hill
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth May

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

She May Not Leave by Fay Weldon
Deniro’s Game by Rawi Hage
A Child in Time by Ian McEwan

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

The Selected Gwendolyn MacEwen
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Skids by Cathleen With
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Saffran Foer
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovksy
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
My Great Reads 2010

Alison McGhee’s Poems of the Week

Distant Regard by Tony Hoagland

The Nutritionist by Andrea Gibson

The Poet of Ignorance by Anne Sexton

This Is the Dream by Olav Hauge
What Happened Here? by Petra Morin
Midwest Boys by Betsy Brown
Write About a Radish by Karla Kuskin
Oh, The Water by Dorianne Laux
To My Daughter on Her Twenty-First Birthday by Ellen Bass
I ask Percy how I should live my life, by Mary Oliver
Poem to My Child If Ever You Should Be, by Ross Gay

Tree Stump o’ Deep Thought You’re Not Usually Capable Of, by Stephan Pastis via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

homage to my hips by Lucille Clifton
Injustice by Piyassili
Goldenrod by Maggie Smith
From “Work” by Mary Oliver
In the Middle of this Century by Yehuda Amichai
My Dead Friends by Marie Howe
Bargain by Alison McGhee
The Mower by Philip Larkin
Pulled Over in Short Hills, NJ, 8:00 AM, by Ross Gay
The Blue Light by Tim Nolan
Pass On by Michael Lee
Gate A-4 by Naomi Shihab Nye
Listening to Paul Simon by Dorianne Laux
A Good Day by Kait Rokowski
The Leash by Ada Limon
Dear One Absent This Long While by Lisa Olstein
Some Day I’ll Love Ocean Vuong by Ocean Vuong

Our Fathers by Joyce Sutphen

Aimless Love by Billy Collins

For a Dying Tomcat Who’s Relinquished His Former Hissing and Predatory Nature by Mary Karr

Flossie at School by Alden Nolan

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

The Laughing Heart – Charles Bukowski 

The Hat in the Sky by Al Zolynas

Reunion by Javier Etchevarren

Short Order Cook – Jim Daniels

The Reward – Denise Levertov

For my Grandmother – Phil Kaye – Spoken Word

Short-order Cook by Jim Daniels

Father’s Voice by Willam Stafford

The Word that is a Prayer by Ellery Akers

What is the Hokey Pokey Really is What It’s All About by  Mark Kraushaar

Poem of the Week RR by Brian Turner

The Necklace by Osip Mandelstam 

The Rider by Naomi Shihab Nye

Twilight by Dan Bellm

To Certain Students by V. Penelope Pelizzon

Body and Kentucky Bourbon

If You Knew by Ellen Bass

Glory by Suzanne Cleary

The Coming of Light – Mark Strand

Last Night I Had a Dream – Antonio Machado

Don’t You Wonder Sometimes – Tracy K. Smith

When You Are Old – William Butler Yeats

Oranges by Gary Soto

When the Burning Begins Patricia Smith

Needle and Thread by Dorianne Laux

Anyways by Suzanne Clearly

For a Traveler by Jessica Greenbaum
Collect Call by Ash Bowen
Jet by Tony Hoagland
How Strange, How Sweet by Joshua Mehigan
Love Sonnet – Pablo Neruda LLXXXiX
Brynn Saito – Trembling on the Brink of a Mesquite Tree
Waving Goodbye by Wesley McNair
Hope by Czeslaw Milosz
The Neighbourhood of Make Believe by Thomas Lux
If Found Drop in Any Mail Box, Owner Will Pay Postage by Jeanne Murray Walker
Winter Stars by Sara Teasedale
Mimesis by Fady Joudah
Pleasantville by Ellen Bass
Wedding Cake by Naomi Shihab Nye
Excerpt – Mary Oliver #4 “Work”
Great Things Have Happened by Alden Nowlan
The Palace of Contemplating Departure by Brynn Saito
The Dubliners by Patrick Cavanaugh
Wedding by Emily Rechnitz
First Winter in America by Gregory Djanikian
The Mystical Rose by Adelia Prado
Match by Brynn Saito

Riding Out at Evening by Linda McCarriston

The Dubliners by Patrick Cavanaugh

In Michael Robins’s class minus one by Bob Hicok
A Blessing From My Sixteen Years’ Son by Mary Karr
What the Living Do by Marie Howe (Poem of the Week)
Gate C 22 by Ellen Bass (Poem of the Week)
The Best Moment of the Night by Tony Hoagland -Poem of the Week
Poem of the Week: Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden
Poem of the Week: The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife by Michael Ondaatje
Poem of the Week: Overheard by Ross Gay
Poem of the Week: Ocean Ghazal by Alison McGhee
Poem of the Week: June the Horse by Jim Harrison
Poem of the Week: Roofmen by Patricia Fargnoli
Poem of the Week: Two Countries by Naomi Shihab Nye
Poem of the Week: Little Horse by W.S. Merwin
Poem of the Week: Then I Walked Through the World by Leah Goldberg
God Say Yes to Me
Poem of the Week: The Woman Who Shoveled the Sidewalk by Stanley Plumly
Poem of the Week: A Time Past by Denise Levertov
Poem of the Week: Autumn Begins in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio by James Wright
Poem of the Week: A Poem for Emily by Miller Williams
Poem of the Week: Meeting at an Airport by Taha Muhammad Ali
Poem of the Week: From New Hampshire by Rosanna Warren
Waving Goodbye: Wesley McNair
Poem of the Week: Letter to Laundry on the Line by Russ Kesler
Poem of the Week: Invisible Work by Alison Luterman
Poem of the Week: Fog by Dorianne Laux
Poem of the Week: The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats
Moods: Variation II
Poem of the Week: “High Tide” by John Hodgen
Poem of the Week: “Help” by Arthur Vogelsang
YouTube – I’m Reading a Book by Julian Smith
Poem of the Week: “The Times” by Lucille Clifton
Poem of the Week: The Snow Mass Cycle: Retreat by Stephen Dunn
Stanley Fish on The Current: Requiem for a Sentence
onehundredonebooks wonderful book blog!
Poem of the Week: “Go to the Limits of Your Longing” Rainer Maria Wilke
Poem of the Week: Color Theory by Eric Leigh

Random Musing

Ding a Dong Doo Where Are You?
The Heat of Summer
The Accidental Life
The Story of Birdie and How He Was Almost Saved By a Spatula
Beautiful Resilience
Ding a Dong Doo – Where Are You?


2 responses to “Book Reviews

  1. Hello Tessa,
    My name is Jordan, and I’m with TLC Book Tours. We coordinate online blog tours for authors and publishers. I’m working with TLC Book Tours on a tour that I think would be a good fit for Condofire. The tour I’m currently working on is the book “The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters about the Business of Life” by Philip Delves Broughton. A Harvard Business School graduate, Delves Broughton travels around the world to collect insight from many masters of the art of selling in order to understand how to achieve greatness in sales. I saw that you reviewed several non-fiction books (Steve Job’s biography, “Open Leadership” and Gladwell’s recent book) that are related to personal and business development, so I thought you might find this book interesting.
    If you were interested, we’d have the book sent out to you in exchange for your posting your thoughts on the book on a mutually agreed-upon date in April. We don’t require positive reviews, just honest ones.
    I’d love to have you on this tour if you’re interested! I look forward to hearing from you!
    Jordan (at) tlcbooktours (dot) com
    (I’m contacting you via the comments because I couldn’t find your email on this site.)

  2. Hey Jordan,

    I’m not sure that I understand completely. Is the review posted on this site or on another site? I guess the other thing is that I’m a temperamental reader and if I don’t like something or if it doesn’t interest me I have difficulty slogging through it. I promised a friend to review her book once and I found it hard to do. Tess (thanks for letting me know about the contact email – I can also be reached at

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