I’m never sure how these lists get created. In any case, the Guardian has named it’s books not to miss in 2009. Odd phrasing – not books to read, but books not to miss. Like the best advertising, it suggests an urgency, a tremendous opportunity that could be missed if you’re not fast enough. In any case, [...]
Archive | 2008
Most of this novel is memory: a woman thinking about her daughter’s suicide and remembering an earlier summer in post-War Nagasaki. Almost nothing happens in the present day. The whole story takes place in the past. And the story in the past is full of holes. At first this annoyed me but, the more I [...]
The original New York Times review in 1937 put it this way: Mr. Hemingway has been for some years an outstanding figure in American literature; he has influenced greatly men a little younger than himself, and they have paid him the tribute of imitation. Whatever he does is of interest because he has, unquestionably, a [...]
All three of these stories have a deeply satirical flavour, with dry, mostly successful humour and pointed observations on the various absurdities and hypocrisies we live by. “The Laying on of Hands” describes a memorial service for a masseur to the rich and famous, at which everyone (including the priest) is secretly worrying about whether [...]
The human being may be no more real than is a cinematograph film. When the projected light is switched off all that remains is a blank screen. That which has been projected by light was a series of ‘stills’. Such also is what is being projected by ‘life’. The more you consider the analogy the [...]
In Japan, a prisoner on death row wakes up every morning not knowing if he will be executed that day. The prisoner doesn’t know his execution date until the morning it is to be carried out. His family only finds out after the execution has already taken place. Hakamada Iwao has been on death row [...]
Read a very interesting piece by Franco Moretti in New Left Review, July/August 2008. It seems like a synopsis of a much longer, multi-volume work on the theory of the novel, which I plan to read when I have time. Moretti talks about the theory of the novel by asking three surprising questions: Why are [...]
This is not the most interesting book I have read lately, but it is one of the most important. It deals with the topics so often left vague in left-wing literature: the nitty-gritty of how a non-capitalist economy would actually allocate goods and services, balance supply and demand, avoid gluts or shortages, invest in infrastructure, [...]
Read a fascinating article in the Fall 2007 edition of the Du Bois Review. In an article “The New Latin Nation”, Alejandro Portes made the very interesing, and ironic, point that whereas in the past, much Mexican immigration to the US was cyclical, in the last few decades the tighter border controls have made it [...]
Worth staying up for. He used the example of a 106-year-old voter to go through a century of US history, touching on key moments like women getting the vote, then world war two, civil rights, Martin Luther King, etc., putting everything in context. Hope his presidency lives up to it. This is not the best [...]
- The 20 best Caribbean book blogs 1 October 2012
- What is it about water? 26 May 2013
- The cafe killer 29 October 2012
- Liebster Award reloaded 1 November 2012
- The Kindle Report: does it beat paper? 4 December 2012
- If you liked my book… 17 June 2013
- Bottled Air by Caleb Klaces 10 June 2013
- Catching up 3 June 2013
- What is it about water? 26 May 2013
- We could take a train, be miles away by morning… 6 May 2013
- Buy Cheap Diablo 3 Farming: Basically, and I'm speaking in order to the Blizz...
- Charlie: Best of luck!...
- Alice: Awesome! Good Luck! *pops off to vote*...
- litlove: I'll be voting! Good luck - and congratulations o...
- Andrew Blackman: Yes, it is a kitchen garden really. Good idea abou...