Book Reviews: July 2019

The latest from Barbara Bourland and Laura Lippman

Lauren LaRocca - July 2019

Book Reviews: July 2019

The latest from Barbara Bourland and Laura Lippman

Lauren LaRocca - July 2019


image007.jpg#asset:118180

Fake Like Me

Barbara Bourland (Grand Central Publishing)

Baltimore-based Barbara Bourland raises a magnifying glass to the contemporary art world in this compelling satire. A cast of familiar-yet-eccentric characters plays out multiple storylines—a bizarre mystery (why did the young and famous New York artist Carey Logan drown herself in a lake?), a love story (really, a few), an artist’s coming of age—but at its core, it’s a penetrating, insightful discourse into what it means to be a practicing artist navigating the cut-throat art world. It’s a must-read for art scholars and students, who will appreciate all the practical and existential questions the narrator faces—from taking on an impossible deadline after two years’ worth of paintings are lost in a studio fire, to pondering the gray area between being an artist and being a commodity. And your jaw will drop more than a few times throughout Bourland’s story, which is painted with rich imagery, exquisite details, and sensual delight.


Lady-in-the-Lake.jpg#asset:118181

Lady in the Lake

Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

In her latest, Laura Lippman turns back the clock to 1960s Baltimore, drawing inspiration from the city’s real-life “Lady in the Lake,” the body of a woman that was found in Druid Park Lake in 1969 and identified as Shirley Parker, an African-American barmaid. In Lippman’s fictional retelling of the eerie story, Cleo Sherwood, a bartender at the Flamingo club on Pennsylvania Avenue, goes missing on New Year’s Eve. No one seems to care except Maddie Schwartz, who recently separated from her husband and became a reporter for the Star, determined to solve this mystery by whatever means necessary. Scattered throughout the story are first-person perspectives of various characters who meet Maddie along the way. It’s perfect beach reading material—light and breezy and full of juicy gossip, set in historical Baltimore (think pre- gentrification Inner Harbor and a buzzing Howard Street shopping district), with fun twists throughout.





You May Also Like


Arts District

Ernest Shaw’s “Testify!” Debuts at Motor House Gallery

Shaw immortalizes prominent thought leaders, creatives, and historic figures in latest exhibit.

The Chatter

Woodstock 50 Festival Gets Moved to Merriweather, Probably.

Relocation from Upstate New York to Columbia seen as last chance to save troubled anniversary concert.

Arts District

The Big Baltimore Playlist: July 2019

The top five local songs you should download right now.


Arts & Culture

For The ‘Gram

Selfie Fantasy brings an Instagram-worthy experience to Ocean City.

Arts District

Maryland Science Center and Believe In Music Announce Halloween Party Lineup

Headliners include J. Roddy Walston and The Business, DDm, and Psycho Killers.

On The Town

AFRAM Festival Returns to Druid Hill Park This Weekend

Annual celebration of African American culture brings in big names like Rick Ross and Teddy Riley.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Decades Night Club Documents Baltimore Club Music History at the Peale Center: We speak with curator Mia Loving about her latest exhibit, on view through this week.

Relics of Baltimore's Forgotten Punk Scene Showcased in New Metro Gallery Exhibit: Celebrated Summer Records owner Tony Pence curates fliers, photos, and music from 1977 to 1989.

What is the Likelihood of President Trump Coming to Baltimore?: With a House Republican conference and an invitation from Elijah Cummings, a presidential visit might be imminent.

Developers Hope to Unveil Greektown’s Yard 56 by 2020: The mixed-use project will be anchored by Streets Market and LA Fitness.