In the cramped studio we rented when we first stayed in Paris a few months, a well-worn paperback of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast lay on top of three or four books on a night table. The intriguing title was familiar, the first few pages beguiling. I “knew” Hemingway, having read two of his books. Reading about 1920s Paris in Paris? Who could resist? Besides, … Continue reading Hemingway’s Paris of the Twenties: A Moveable Feast
Myanmar—does that ring a bell? You guess that, maybe, it’s the same as Burma. And maybe you’ve even heard of its most famous citizen, Aung San Suu Kyi. Or, maybe, you have no idea whatsoever what Myanmar is. And you couldn’t care less. Myanmar is fascinating—rich in resources, diverse, exotic, unique, complex. Once a monarchy, invaded by the British, then terrorized by a military regime … Continue reading Fiction as History: Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace
This post is technically not a review. Rather it’s a rant about the typical novels in the romance genre. I nearly zapped a historical romance out of my iPad while reading it one evening. It wasn’t badly written. It wasn’t boring. But it annoyed me that for the umpteenth time, the author says her hero has “wide/broad shoulders.” Now, how often must she remind of … Continue reading No Broad Shoulders. No Romance.
What makes for greatness in a book of fiction? Maybe this is a question impossible to answer for currently published books because only time can tell. Still, I did read a book some time ago that I thought was the greatest I have read in a very long while (counting some classics). I will bet on its being among the rare few that can stand … Continue reading “Energetic, specific use of language”
I just read an article published early this year (February) that had me thinking again about book reviews. I was led to the article by a more recent one written three months later by the same author, Lev Grossman, in which he weighs in on the debate in certain circles between literary fiction and genre fiction. In both this debate and Grossman’s musings on book … Continue reading Who’s To Say: Subverting the Tyranny in Book Reviews