Week 60: Veronika Decides to Die

By | 2018-09-04T16:07:35+00:00 August 7th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Week 60: Veronika Decides to Die In 1999, Paulo Coelho wrote an essay for the London Telegraph Review in which he discussed the time he spent in mental institutions in the 1960s, during Brazil's military dictatorship. At the time, he wrote, "the word 'artist' was synonymous with homosexual, communist, drug addict, and layabout." Coelho, who [...]

Week 59: The Vicar of Wakefield

By | 2018-09-05T15:57:14+00:00 July 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|

Week 59: The Vicar of Wakefield Book Review "I was ever of opinion, that the honest man who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population." And so, from the very first line of his narrative, Dr. Primrose, the vicar of Wakefield, [...]

Sweet Thursday

By | 2018-09-06T15:37:03+00:00 July 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|

SWEET THURSDAY By Margie Taylor Fifty-three minutes before she’s due to meet the others at the departure terminal, Indira Rasmussen, who has had two days to get used to walking without a filtersuit, stands transfixed in a shop at the corner of Robson and Thurlow. She’s holding a book. Not quite square in shape, [...]

Week 57: Keep the Aspidistra Flying

By | 2018-09-06T16:15:13+00:00 July 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Keep the Aspidistra Flying Book Review Only in a book compiled by an English editor, with the assistance of a team of writers, editors, critics, and reporters who are also, for the most part, English, would George Orwell's third novel, following on the heels of Burmese Days and A Clergyman's Daughter, have made a list [...]

Week 56: Absalom, Absalom!

By | 2018-09-06T23:20:21+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Absalom, Absalom! Book Review There are writers whose books take you into another place and hold you there, from the opening sentence until the moment, finally, when they release you. Alice Munro and the fictional town of Jubilee, Ontario. Harper Lee and Monroe County, Alabama. John Steinbeck and the Golden State of California. William [...]

Week 55: The Shining – which is better, the book or the movie?

By | 2018-09-07T03:53:16+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Shining Book Review It says a lot about what you view as literature when you're surprised to find Stephen King included in a list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. But he's in there. And he deserves to be, if only for The Shining, his disturbing tale of marital tension, [...]

Week 54: Sons and Lovers . . . and Mothers

By | 2018-09-07T15:14:01+00:00 June 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Sons and Lovers Book Review I've always felt that if you're going to read D. H. Lawrence, you should start with Sons and Lovers, his seminal tale of passion, domestic conflict, working-class aspirations, and poverty. Set in the Nottingham coalfields at the turn of the last century, it's a story of becoming - becoming [...]

Week 53: Eugene Onegin, in translation

By | 2018-09-07T15:30:41+00:00 June 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Eugene Onegin, in translation book review It's often said that only those who know Russian can fully enjoy Alexander Pushkin's masterpiece, Eugene Onegin. They may be right. But until the time when you or I can read the original, I recommend Charles Johnston's translation, published in 1977 by Viking Press. For a non-Russian speaker [...]

Week 52: Tales of Horror and Suspense – reviewing Edgar Allan Poe

By | 2018-09-07T15:38:43+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Tales of Horror and Suspense: Reviewing Edgar Allan Poe The Fall of the House of Usher is 19 pages long. The Pit and the Pendulum is even shorter. By the standards of your average novel, these hardly make the grade. But, as David Rush writes in my edition of 1001 Books You Must Read [...]