introducing readers to writers since 1995

December 17, 2004

Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Holiday Gift Suggestion

by Ron Hogan

baratzlogsted.jpgLauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of two novels from Red Dress Ink, The Thin Pink Line and its sequel, Crossing the Line. Her work earns praise not just from her chick lit peers, but mainstream comic writers like Peter Lefcourt, who calls her latest "dryly funny, brightly written and emotionally satisfying." (Of course, you might well say that if sales are anything to go by, chick lit is just as mainstream as Peter Lefcourt, if not more so!) And take it from me: she's got great taste in books...

I considered writing a review of some uber highbrow book, but 1) I couldn't think of any in the first thirty seconds and 2) I figured it wouldn't really help people much with their holiday shopping since they'd only have a few, if any, on their lists who might be able to read the damn thing. Then, I thought about plugging one of my own books, but I realized that might make me seem, well, too self-absorbed. Finally, I settled on a novel I discovered this summer at BookExpo: Margot Livesey's Banishing Verona. Livesey's fifth novel is about a Raphael angel-faced housepainter suffering from Asperger's Syndrome named Zeke whose life changes when a very pregnant woman, the eponymous Verona, shows up on the doorstep of a house he's painting, claiming to be a niece of the owners. She's not. But she does have some bad men chasing her due to some nasty business dealings of her brother and Zeke does have his own family issues. Livesey's writing is so assured, the reader spends most of the book on the edge of hilarity, forgetting that this is a literary novel, and it makes a great gift for any reasonably intelligent person on your list who likes books that are funny and quirky and moving.
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