Oct 16, 2014
It's the Knight Bus, and Sirius Black, and Buckbeak, and Dementors, and Lupin: Harry Potter begins to grow up in The Prisoner of Azkaban so much we can almost see the hormones taking effect.
Oct 2, 2014
Pod 2 in my survey of the Harry Potter novels. The Chamber of Secrets is about growing up and getting embarrassed, duels, the basilisk in the pipes, and interesting hallucinations brought on by an enchanted diary.
Sep 18, 2014
Also called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first Harry Potter novel is a great source for questions and a lot of plotting for the future. But it's most rewarding as a journey into wonder and the delight of invention.
Sep 4, 2014
Lady Baltimore is a social satire of the Deep South, set in Charleston at the turn of the 19th century, where the New Rich of Newport have come down to see if Hortense Rieppe the fast modern girl will marry John Mayrant the Southern gentleman, and why on earth she would want to do that. It's also a stealth novel about...
Aug 21, 2014
Mud, fog, small beer, and not very much change in conversation over a lifetime spent in a 12th-century convent in eastern England. Sylvia Townsend Warner's pioneering historical novel The Corner That Held Them is about how history happens when you're not looking at it.