Katherine Bailey on Books    
  Book Reviews, Literary Essays

Books For Serious Readers
  It’s hard to imagine a life without fiction. To fall through the print on a page, like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, into a real and convincing world is an experience not to be missed. A novel that detaches the mind from its prevailing concerns and that transports and calms the reader, no matter how agitating the plot, is indeed one of life’s prizes – a patch of sunlight in a dark woods. The settings and prose styles of the books included here are decidedly dissimilar, but they share common features. Each is underpinned by an inherently interesting story; each is populated with three-dimensional characters; and each conveys versions of reality. Readers who are eager to explore the world of fiction – as assiduously as Alice in Wonderland investigated behind each locked door in her magical surroundings – will encounter a windfall of life-enhancing experiences.

Katherine Bailey is a book reviewer currently contributing to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Her articles have appeared in Publishers Weekly, British Heritage magazine and the Minnesota Law Journal.

Comments welcome at katie@katherinebaileyonbooks.com.

** New!!  

Authors, Poets Authors Included Where Poets Included Where

Reviews BIOGRAPHIES Author Notes
**Wilson, A Biography   Berg, A. Scott   Who is the happy Warrior?  
**Edith Wharton   Lee, Hermione   An ear for language and a sense of drama. 
**Truman   McCullough, David   Are the special privileged going to run the country, or are the people going to run it? 
**The Temporary Gentleman   Barry, Sebastian   Irishman Jack McNulty perceives himself to be a “temporary gentleman.” 
**The Aviator's Wife   Benjamin, Melanie   Tarnished Gold. 
**All This Talk of Love   Castellani, Christopher   Teen-age suicide and a mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s. 
Lake of Dreams   Edwards, Kim   Deception is at the heart of this second novel. 
The Marriage Plot   Eugenides, Jeffrey   A love triangle. 
Tabloid City   Hamill, Pete   The death of a tabloid.  
The Widower’s Tale   Glass, Julia   Getting in shape to die. 
When She Woke   Jordan, Hillary   Life in the future. 
Rodin's Debutante   Just, Ward   A literary novel. 
**The Daughters of Mars   Keneally, Thomas   An unforgettable novel. 
In The Garden of Beasts   Larson, Erik   Hiel Hitler! 
**How It All Began   Lively, Penelope   Human choice versus fate.  
**Watergate   Mallon, Thomas   Thomas Mallon captures the tone of an era.  
**Sweet Tooth   McEwan, Ian   Trust No one.  
The Butterfly Cabinet   McGill, Bernie   Crime and punishment.  
The Paris Wife   McLain, Paula   Does genius excuse behavior? 
Emily, Alone   O'Nan, Stewart   No longer urgent. 
**West of Sunset   O'Nan, Stewart   F. Scott Fitzgerald as the protagonist.  
Private Life   Smiley, Jane   For what she had put up with. 
**Crossing To Safety   Stegner, Wallace   Decent, gracious and cultivated characters. 
**The Burgess Boys   Strout, Elizabeth   The Pig’s Head Caper. 
The Road Home   Tremain, Rose   The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. 
Trespass   Tremain, Rose   Shouldering baggage from the past. 
Cutting For Stone   Verghese, Abraham   The secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient. 
Clara and Mr Tiffany   Vreeland, Susan   Chronicles the life of an historical figure from the art world. 
Behind the Scenes at the Museum   Atkinson, Kate   Not every mother loves her children.  
Persuasion   Austin, Jane   Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on.  
The Children’s Book   Byatt, A. S.   Nothing is at it appears.  
Silas Marner   Eliot, George   A child brings hope.  
Howard’s End   Forster, E. M.  A world of kindness contrasts with a world of earned income.  
The Transit of Venus   Hazzard, Shirley   Nothing is less charming than unwanted love.  
The Rise of Silas Lapham   Howells, William Dean   Fragile human beings are overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. 
The Portrait of a Lady   James, Henry   An American woman throws her life away in Europe.  
Mainstreet   Lewis, Sinclair   A woman’s reach should exceed her grasp.  
The Photograph   Lively, Penelope   The past exerts a hold over the present.  
Henry and Clara   Mallon, Thomas   A young couple joins President and Mrs. Lincoln at the Ford Theatre.  
The Sea, the Sea   Murdoch, Iris   Jealousy plagues well-educated, upper-class English men and women.  
Appointment in Samarra   O'Hara, John   Nothing can save Julian English from his self-perpetuating demons.  
The Volcano Lover   Sontag, Susan   One of history’s most celebrated love triangles plays out at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius.  
Land of Marvels   Unsworth, Barry   The villainous role of Western imperialism impacts Iraq’s history.  
**Dancing Fish and Ammonites   Lively, Penelope   An unconventional memoir.  
**The Warmth of Other Suns     Wilkerson, Isabel   One set of troubles ends; another set begins.
Tipperary   Delany, Frank   We Irish prefer embroideries to plain cloth.  
Ghost Light   O'Connor, Joseph   Star-Crossed Lovers.  
The Blackwater Lightship    Tobin, Colm   Three generations of women care for a dying man.  
Brooklyn   Tobin, Colm   Advice is good or bad only as the event decides.  
**Nora Webster   Tóibín, Colm   Fate’s inscrutable action. 
Elizabeth Alone   Trevor, William   A middle-aged woman examines her life.  
Love and Summer   Trevor, William   A woman’s basic goodness prevails.  
The Story of Lucy Gault   Trevor, William   Youth has consequences.  
**Started Early, Took My Dog   Atkinson, Kate Kids Everywhere Falling through the Cracks.  
Talking About Detective Fiction   James, P.D. Motive, means and opportunity.  
Our Kind of Traitor   Le Carré, John A high-value defector.  
Sister   Lupton, Rosamund Crime and Transformation.  

Literary Essays TITLE Notes
**Biography     Revealing the person behind the facade.
Power of Words     Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August.
Churchill     Churchill by Paul Johnson.
Versions of the Truth     Fiction in our lives.
**Fiction     Fiction is storytelling.
**Book Reviews     To read, describe, evaluate and appreciate .
**The Anatomy of Influence     Harold Bloom on Shakespeare.

Essays on Poetry POET Notes
Robert Frost     Nothing gold can stay.
Auden’s Memorial to Yeats     The day of his death was a dark cold day.
T. S. Eliot, Christmas 1987     The world as it is.