The Archipelago of Another Life Readalong, Part 2

I’m reading The Archipelago of Another Life by Andreï Makine in the company of Emma at Words and Peace and Carol at Cas d’Intérêt. The novel is set in the bewitching wilderness of the Siberian “taiga”, a huge expanse of lake-studded forest on the far eastern edge of the old Soviet Union. It’s structured around a pursuit: a small band… Read More

April 2021 Reading Roundup

Spring is here: storks on the electricity poles, calves in the fields, and suddenly a million things to do around the house and garden. Full-time travel around the 50 countries of Europe was, in some ways, less consuming of time and energy than living in a small cottage in rural Serbia. In any case, after a cold, dark winter exacerbated… Read More

The Vastness of the Dark by Alistair MacLeod

Alistair MacLeod was a Canadian writer who told stories about the rugged landscape of Cape Breton island in Nova Scotia and the rugged miners and fishermen who inhabited it. Marcie over at Buried in Print has embarked on a fascinating reading project covering all of his short stories over the next couple of years. I probably won’t be able to… Read More

February/March 2021 Reading Roundup

I missed my monthly reading roundup in February, so here are two months together. As you’ll see, they were dominated by one huge book: Marcel Proust’s seven-volume, 3,000-page masterpiece. But I managed to squeeze in a few more good books as well. The Ants Will Come and Tell Me by Lena & Daniel Platt I enjoyed this chronicle of a… Read More

The Ants Will Come and Tell Me

As the Empire was falling apart, Britain had a problem: how to keep control of all its former colonies and their resources as they became independent. Acting in good faith was, of course, out of the question. Many of the leaders pushing for independence were talking of using their resources for the benefit of their own people, which went against… Read More

Borges Marathon, Part 2: The Improbable Impostor Tom Castro

I love the writing of Jorge Luis Borges. Back in the early days of this blog, I was so deeply affected by reading his collection of ‘fictions’ that I broke my optimistic vow of reviewing every book I read. It seemed impossible to review a book so vast and varied—it would be like trying to catalogue the contents of one… Read More

The Reality of Anti-Fascism

Reading The US Antifascism Reader lately gave some useful context on this much-maligned but essential movement. It’s a collection of essays and speeches by historical figures from W.E.B. Du Bois to Franklin Roosevelt, Aimé Césaire to Barbara Ehrenreich, in which we see different approaches to combating the dangers of fascism.

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