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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Best Books I Read in 2020

There’s a quote by Alice Walker that I love: “When I was a child, I read books for entertainment and information; I now think of books as lifeboats.” 2020 was a year when I reached for the lifeboats more often than usual, and they didn’t fail me. Sometimes I went searching for context on pressing issues like pandemics, racial oppression… Read More

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

In her preface to The Seat of the Soul, Oprah Winfrey writes: “The Seat of the Soul changed the way I see myself. It changed the way I view the world. It caused a profound shift in the way I conduct all my relationships, business and personal” Then there’s another preface by Maya Angelou, with more high praise for the… Read More