Posts in Reading

German Literature Month: Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

November is German Literature Month, hosted by Lizzy and Caroline! If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an annual celebration of literature in the German language. There’s a schedule of readalongs, but I’m too disorganised for that, so I’m going for the “read what you want, as long as it was originally written in German” category. And what better book to choose than Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald, a novel that I have been meaning to read for so many years that I’d almost given up hope of unearthing it from… Read More

October Reading Roundup

Did you read any good books in October? I had a decent reading month, starting with a dud but progressing to some fascinating reads, including one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Here’s a rundown. The Mimic Men by V.S. Naipaul I really don’t get why this novel is so celebrated. It’s the life story of a fictional West Indian politician, and it reads like a political memoir, a dull enough genre even when the politician in question really existed. I had no interest in the… Read More

Eye by Marianne Micros: Greek Mythology With a Contemporary Twist

As a long-time English professor at the University of Guelph, Marianne Micros taught folktales among other things, and this influence is clear in her short story collection Eye, recently published by Guernica Editions. Also evident is the influence of her Greek mother, to whom the book is dedicated. For these are short stories that weave folktales and mythology together with contemporary life. We start with a young boy seeing visions of the future after discovering the head of Orpheus on a beach, and in later stories we meet Ariadne in a… Read More

September Reading Roundup

Last month, I started a series of monthly reading roundups. This month, to my astonishment, I am continuing it for the second straight month. So here’s a quick summary of the books I read in September. Life Begins on Friday by Ioana Pârvulescu I was travelling in Romania for most of September, so I decided to read this novel by a contemporary Romanian writer that I bought at a bookshop in Iasi (which I wrote a bit about—the town, not the bookshop—back in August). Life Begins on Friday was a fresh, slightly bizarre… Read More

August Reading Roundup

When I first started this blog (over ten years ago now!), I intended to review every book I read. Even by September 2008, I was already talking about that intention in the past tense, and by now I have to admit that it’ll never happen. I read too much and blog too little. But perhaps I can manage a monthly roundup? A few sentences on each book? We’ll see. Inspired by A Cocoon of Books, anyway, I’m going to try. So here’s what I read in August. How was your… Read More

A Shocking Memoir From a Stolen Generation

I learnt about Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea from Emma’s excellent review on Book Around the Corner. It’s a very moving memoir by a woman, Marie Munkara, who was taken from her Aboriginal family in northern Australia at the age of 3 and placed with a white foster family in Melbourne. The Stolen Generations Munkara was one of thousands of members of the “Stolen Generations” of Aboriginal children taken from their homes by the Australian government or church missions. According to Wikipedia: “Official government estimates are that in… Read More

Happiness by Aminatta Forna: Review

Although in her previous novels Aminatta Forna has grappled with wars and atrocities in Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, her latest novel, titled Happiness and set in the heart of London, may be her most challenging undertaking yet.

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