A mind-blowing decades old murder investigation is enhanced by a highly intelligent and original memoir that takes a hard look at human nature, violence, and masculinity in America. Reviewing the Rainbow murders through the lense of Eisenberg was like being in the passenger seat with an extremely gifted driver who knows exactly how to maneuver West Virginia's switchback mountain roads in the dark because she's lived there as an outsider trying to fit in and knows exactly where to shine the headlights. The implications of her sociocultural findings reach far beyond the borders of Pocahontas County and are sure to place her work on every must read list for years to come. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Biblio Style: How We Live at Home with Books, by Nina Freudenberger is a genius celebration of bibliophiles and their exquisite book collections. From Hudson Valley farms, to Brooklyn lofts, Paris apartments and French country homes, the book lairs here are as richly textured, colorful and complex as their spirited and distinct owners. Depending on your point of reference the photography will either validate your stacks or inspire a lavish revamp but there is no walking away unaffected. Add this one to the pile! ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
I just spent six hours with Patti Smith in my car.
There is no better balm for getting unstuck, than to listen to someone clearly enlivened by aging, loss, death and elections. Admittedly, Patti's global walkabout In The Year of the Monkey. a memoir of her life approaching the age of 70, often blurs dream and reality - and I've not worked out the meaning of the candy wrappers yet - but still. This book has got soul, and I've listened to it twice. Aside from learning that she likes beans and eggs for breakfast, Patti writes with a raw and compelling lucidity about being, writing, gratitude and truth. Listen to it twice. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
There are scenes in this wonderful novel that return to me vividly at quiet moments and I relive them as a witness, like they really happened, that I was lucky enough to be in the room because of a powerful question I seemed to share, or a bewildering incite or feeling validated by the marvelous enigmatic character of Olive Kitteridge.
Strout's writing is a wonder. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Frannie narrates her brutal, erotic, affecting story from a dank 1826 London prison cell. She stands accused of the stabbing murders of a mistress lover, as well as her master - a wealthy social climber whose scientific experiments on people of color bring him fame and stature. Highly educated as an experiment, and then used to carry out her master's medical research, Langton is a searing protagonist who captivates with intellect and elegance as she both remembers her Jamaican slavery, while struggling desperately to recall one night in England blurred by love, opium and rage. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker