Posts Tagged Isabel Allende

November Boston-area Book Readings of Note

the muralist

B.A. Shapiro
The Muralist
Concord Bookshop
Thursday, November 5 at 7pm

the horse

Wendy Williams
The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion
Harvard Book Store
Monday, November 9 at 7pm

japanese lover

Isabel Allende
The Japanese Lover
Harvard Book Store
Wednesday, November 11 at 7pm


Ethan Hawke
Rules for a Knight
Harvard Book Store
at Brattle Theatre
Thursday, November 12 at 6pm

extraordinary rendition

Claire Messud, Askold Melnyczuk, Adam Stumacher
Extraordinary Rendition
Brookline Booksmith
Monday, November 16 at 7pm

me my hair and i

Elizabeth Benedict
Elizabeth Searle
Hallie Ephron

Me, My Hair & I: Twenty-Seven Women Untangle an Obsession
Newtonville Books
Monday, November 16 at 7pm

Jesse Eisenberg
Bream Gives Me Hiccups
Harvard Book Store
at Brattle Theatre
Thursday, November 19 at 6pm


Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life
Cambridge Public Library
Monday, November 30 at 7pm

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

BOOKS: 25 Suggestions for #ReadWomen2014

As an English major at a women’s college (Simmons College in Boston), I didn’t read as many women authors as you’d think. I remember a Victorian Experience class with George Eliot as one of the authors along with Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens, naturally. I took a wonderful summer course at Emerson College that included Edith Wharton on the syllabus and I immediately fell for her. Upon graduating I’ve made up for not reading that many female authors and likely read more female than male authors. As with any business, I know that the literary world’s filled with many more big-name male authors and lesser-known female authors. More literary prizes go to men than to women. Female authors usually get pushed into the “women’s fiction” a.k.a. “chick lit” genre whereas men nearly always write literary fiction, mystery/thriller and nonfiction. There’s little parity. So I’m all for this #ReadWomen2014 movement.

Here are 25 of my favorite books by women, a mix of classic and modern, if you need some reading suggestions:

Glimpses vintage

1. Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton

song of lark

2. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather


3. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

journal of a solitude

4. Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton


5. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers


6. Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker


7. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud


8. Intuition by Allegra Goldman

ghana must go

9. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi


10. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

portrait in sepia

11. Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende

good earth

12. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck


13. The Revolution of Every Day by Cari Luna


14. The Group by Mary McCarthy

bell jar

15. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


16. Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark


17. The Vagabond by Collette

education of harriet hatfield

18. The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton

agnes grey

19. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte


20. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver


21. Possession by A.S. Byatt


22. Don’t Cry by Mary Gaitskill


23. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

broken heart.singer

24. The Wholeness of a Broken Heart by Katie Singer

on beauty

25. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Maya’s Notebook: book review

maya notebook

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende. Publisher: Harper (2013). Fiction. Hardcover. 400 pages. ISBN 9780062105622.

Isabel Allende novels engulf you with impressive stories rooted in Chilean customs. With its present day setting, her latest novel could be considered a departure. The novel commences with 19-year-old Maya sent into exile by her grandmother to Chiloe, an island off Chile’s southern coast . Her grandmother and step-grandfather raised her in the liberal enclave of Berkeley, California. Her Scandinavian mom took off early in her life and her Chilean father, a pilot, wasn’t around much. Maya falls into a terrible drug-fueled scene when her grandfather, an African-American astronomer, dies. Allende writes about drug use and abject despair as magnificently as she writes about Chilean landscapes.

“Exasperated, insane, I waited eternal seconds until the rocks burned to the color of wax, with the tube burning my fingers and my lips, and finally they broke and I deeply breathed in the redeeming cloud, the sweet fragrance of mentholated gasoline, and then the unease and premonitions disappeared and I rose to glory, light, graceful, a bird in the wind. For a brief time I felt euphoric, invincible, but soon I came down with a band in the semidarkness of that room.”

After escaping from the rehab facility, she finds herself deeply involved in a dangerous drug scene in Las Vegas. Once her grandmother rescues her and sends her away, Maya has ample time to discover her innermost strength while in the isolated community. Given a notebook by her grandmother on her departure, Maya contemplates the harrowing past few months and her journey to bring her shattered soul back together. Maya’s Notebook is yet another beguiling, contemplative novel from one of my favorite authors.

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Harper Collins.

, ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: