REVIEW: THE VISITORS by Sally Beauman

“The Orient—including present-day Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa—exerted its allure on the Western artist’s imagination centuries prior to the turn of the nineteenth century.” Jennifer Meagher, Dept. of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The cover alone appeals to the unrepentant Orientalist in me. I’m fascinated by the archaeology and exploration of…

REVIEW: THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker

In the turn-of-the-century New York City, a Syrian tinsmith names Arbeely is repairing a copper flask, when he unwittingly releases a jinni.  The spirit has been captive an untold number of decades, unable to enjoy the freedom he once enjoyed.  The tinsmith, stunned, takes in the wayward jinni.  He gives him a cot and the…

REVIEW: EXTRAORDINARY THEORY OF OBJECTS by Stephanie Lacava

I have a love/hate relationship with Paris.  Like many people, I expect, I had a romanticized notion of Paris, which I was quite aware was unreal.  But I still wanted to see the storied place of Latrec, Ilse Bing, Cocteau, Hugo, Doisneau, and Brassaï.  There must be something that drew them, inspired them all. If…

REVIEW: THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Zafon experts, please forgive me — this is my first time reading one of his books.  After I was nearly finished with it, someone asked me how I liked the first two in the series.  Oops.  But, I was impressed enough to want to go back and read them.  And as far as I am…

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