Author Archives: lfpbe

A Review of Elif Batuman’s The Idiot

When we were freshmen in college, Jill gave me a book of cartoons for Christmas called I Went to College… and it Was Okay. I looked for the book before I started writing this review, and I couldn’t find it. … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Elif Batuman, Fiction - general, Fiction - literary, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A Review of Olivia Manning’s School for Love

This novel is about Felix, a British boy whose mother has just died. Felix and his mother lived in Baghdad back when Iraq was a British colony, so Felix, whose father is also deceased, has to make a long journey … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction - general, Fiction - literary, Olivia Manning, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

A Review of John Kaag’s American Philosophy: A Love Story

If nothing else, this memoir will make book lovers everywhere envious of John Kaag. Some six or seven years before he wrote this book, Kaag was in rural New Hampshire helping to organize a conference on William James. He was … Continue reading

Posted in John Kaag, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Literary Studies, Nonfiction - Memoir/Biography, Nonfiction - Philosophy, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Review of Mike Brown’s How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming

I bought this book several years ago, back when I qualified for an educator discount and could get paperbacks from Random House for $3 apiece. Whenever you see me review a book that seems out of my usual oeuvre (I … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Mike Brown, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Memoir/Biography, Nonfiction - Science, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Review of Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad

The greatest trick Colson Whitehead ever pulled was convincing this bookblogger that he had written a realistic novel. Yes, yes, I know that the fact the railroad in this novel is a literal series of tracks running under the nineteenth-century … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Colson Whitehead, Fiction - general, Fiction - Historical, Fiction - literary, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Yarn Along

I still haven’t bought the yarn for the short-sleeved sweater I showed you a couple of weeks ago, but I’m making progress on my test placemat (or whatever) that’s helping me master linen stitch. It’s different from everything I’ve ever done … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Yarn Along | 4 Comments

A Review of Andre Dubus’ The Lieutenant

My reading goal for 2017 is to read more of what I call “quietly good” fiction. By this I mean stories that are well told but in traditional ways. I’m taking a moratorium on shifting point of view for a … Continue reading

Posted in Andre Dubus, Authors, Fiction - general, Fiction - literary, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yarn Along

Whew – I got this post up. I had almost forgotten how. Just kidding – sort of. I haven’t been knitting much over the last couple of months, and I got so tired of posting the same few projects over … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Thoughts on Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist

It’s possible that I was the last English teacher on earth who hadn’t read The Alchemist. When did this book become so omnipresent on 9th grade reading lists? Many students list it as a favorite, and it’s not surprising that … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Fiction - Fake Parables, Fiction - general, Fiction - literary, Paulo Coehlo, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | 2 Comments


My First Official Literary Insight of 2017 is as follows: I like real Victorian novels better than fake Victorian novels. More soon. Like tomorrow soon!

Posted in Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | 3 Comments