Clifford Garstang’s Reviews

I said up-front that I am no reviewer. I started this whole “read-before-recycle” series as a way to teach myself more about good writing by reading authors whose stories are published in issues of The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Atlantic that I have disected over the past 15 months and turned into an imposing pile.

It’s working, too.  I am learning a lot. Last night, I thought my head would explode after a weekend of what felt like kamikaze writing and reading. At midnight, standing at the sink in the bathroom, one leg cocked, stork-fashion, I read another chapter of Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector while I brushed my teeth. Had to laugh, seeing my image in the mirror and feeling like my 10-year-old book worm self all over again.

Now that I have rediscovered Cliff’s blog, Perpetual Folly, I’ll continue to post a list and note about about the stories I read, along with a link to any that Cliff has reviewed. Here’s a link to Clifford Garstang’s bio. I believe you’ll enjoy his reviews and his other writing.

By the way, part of this weekend was used for sorting through the remaining piles of partially written stuff and partially read stuff from the past year, while listening to an audio recording of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Swan Thieves. I thought at first I wasn’t going to be able to get into it at all. It felt stilted, remote, and seemed to move slowly. The flashbacks to late-1800s conversations in France were pretty-sounding, but my attention wandered. Some gorgeous bits of writing from the “Kate” character finally got to me, though, and I stopped filing to fully listen. I’m almost 2/3 of the way through now, and 80% engaged.

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