The best of the 1917 bestsellers for 2017 readers

The 1917 bestseller list contains three novels that are definitely read-again novels for 2017:  The Red Planet by William J. Locke, His Family by Ernest Poole, and In the Wilderness by Robert Hichens. The only thing that common thread among my choices is that each is decidedly uncommon. A domestic novel: His Family I’ll start […]

A moral compass links best of 2015 reading

When you read as many novels as I do—I read and reviewed more then 75 novels for Great Penformances this year—there’s a tendency to become jaded. Plots get to feel familiar. Characters seem to reappear in different outfits in different novels. And the point of it all often is hardly worth the words expended in […]

3 clear winners on 1905 bestseller list

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, The Garden of Allah by Robert Hichens, and The Marriage of William Ashe by Mrs. Humphrey Ward are clearly at the top of the list of 1905 novels with that still have something important to say and say it well. Despite each being 110 years old and each […]

In Garden of Allah weak, lapsed Catholics revive

The Garden of Allah begins with the arrival in North Africa of  an  Englishwoman headed to Beni-Mora. Robert Hichens makes the vast, unpopulated Sahara a vivid backdrop flooded with colors and  vibrating with tom-toms, cymbals, castanets, and the howls of dogs for a story as unexpected as the scene. The Garden of Allah by Robert […]