Here is a list of what I’ve finished in recent months and my upcoming reading for Winter (of course, you realize while I am in school, reading for fun is minimal, well, it is supposed to be, at least!)

Here goes the score in no particular order:

Olivia Joules and the overactive imagination / Helen Fielding. From the author of bridget jones. A silly fluffy read. Great fun. Actually, I liked it much better than Bridget Jones.

White as snow / Tanith Lee. A remaking of the Snow White story in a traditional fantasy fiction vein. I forgot I had already read this one. The story is superficially straightforward, but it has alot of strong undercurrents of gender dynamics, relationships, ageism, violence/abuse, and of course, lots of obvious symbols and metaphors. Mirrors the myth of Demeter and Persephone to a certain extent. I haven’t read alot of Tanith Lee, so I don’t know if it is typical of her work or not. I liked it the first read around, and I was a little disappointed when I realized I had already read it.

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper– Case Closed / Patricia Cromwell. True? Good science? Who knows. It lays out the argument that Walter Richard Sickert, an artist, was Jack the Ripper. The author analyzes the crimes, evidence, and his artwork. Sort of CSI in the art world. Very interesting. (although to make the determination purely upon his paintings would be folly, but the case as she assembles it is interesting…) She is clearly biased that he is indeed the “killer” and she really didn’t cite enough references for a true nonfiction work on the subject. Perhaps, that is caused by the fact that she generally writes fiction. Having said that, there might be an interesting paper/counterpoint to how people view artists.

The Birth of Venus : A Novel / Sarah Dunant. Coming of Age medieval tale of young girl/artist who becomes involved with a painter. Subplot involving Dante&’s Comedy and Bottecelli’s Birth of Venus. Interesting threads about women’s roles in medieval society as well as the roles of artists during that time period. Mostly enjoyable, the courtly love stuff got a little tedious towards the end, for me.

Gotham Tragic / Kurt Wenzel. Modern tale of NYC, publishing, on being a writer, hipness/being outdated, religion, society,etc. Continues the story of Lit Life’s main character, Kyle Clayton, an alcoholic hip writer. Somehow, I really enjoyed this one in spite of itself.


The Secret History of Lucifer / Lynn Picknett.
well, I totally picked this one up because it sounds interesting. According to her bio, this author has written many religious “conspiracy” books including Mary Magdalene : Goddess. Anyhow, we’ll see how this one goes.

By the way, if you have suggestions for good mysteries, please pass them along. I like all kind of mysteries (except I’m not so fond of the animal crime solver stuff, e.g., the cat who…”) I also like both nonfiction & fiction about literary and art figures.

And a few links on

Walter Richard Sickert Bio

Does this painting reveal Jack the Ripper?

To see all of my reviews &; synopsis, click here.