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?


Red Notice by Bill Browder

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

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


Phone Therapy by Ellen Bass

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

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

Poems shared by poetry mistress Alison McGheeGoo

Good Girls by Kim Addinizio

Bach and My Father by Paul Zimmer

The Evening Star by George Kalegeris

Betty Parris Hears Only No

Summing Up

Secret Reading Matter by Tadeusz Dabrowski

A Secret Life by Stephen Dunn

Wondrous by Sarah Freligh

Any Common Desolation by Ellen Bass

Possum Crossing by Nikki Giovanni

What to do by Joyce Sutphen

Things My Son Should Know After I’ve Died – Brian Trimbol

Antidotes to Fear of Death

My Great Reads 2010

Ars Poetica, by Aracelis Girmay

Gravity by Kim Addonizio

Sorry Is Not My Name by Ross Gay

Hanging out with musicians, still in my suit by Tom Shastry

New Restrictions by Dean Young

Clearing by Martha Postlewaite

Canoe, by Alison Luterman

For Nothing is Fixed by James Baldwin

Lumina by Darrell Bourque

Voyage by Tony Hoagland

High School Boyfriend by Margaret Hasse

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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