Nonfiction

Cats Literature Reviews

June 2021 and Mid-Year Reading Recap

Sigh.  Well, I think posting a monthly (and even half-year) reading recap a full three weeks into the next month has to be some sort of record, even for me, but here we are.  And I admit that at this point I’d even been contemplating holding off another week so as to combine this with […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun completely bowled me over when I read it a few years ago.  Purple Hibiscus, too, took me in, though never as absolutely, when I read it the following year; for a first novel, it’s very impressive indeed.  I seem to be doing somewhat less well with Adichie’s […]

Read More
Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Nora Ephron: I Remember Nothing

As already mentioned elsewhere, if at all possible I try to combine my Diversity Bingo and / or Around the World reads with my (Dead) Author Birthday reads: In January, that combination yielded Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, in February, Toni Morrison’s Sula, in March, Gabriel García Márquez’s El coronel no tiene […]

Read More
Cats Literature Reviews

April 2021 Reading Recap

First things first: The persistent bug preventing followers / readers to comment on my posts straight off the post (i.e., other than by using the WP Reader) has finally been weeded out, thanks to my hosting service’s IT team … so you can, at last, comment even if you’re not using the WP Reader.  (I […]

Read More
Cats Literature Reviews

Ursula K. Le Guin: No Time to Spare

Ursula K. Le Guin is an author I’ve only started to discover very recently.  I knew that she fought hard against the qualification as a genre (sci-fi / fantasy / speculative fiction) author; and she has always had all my support to the extent that “genre” is used as synonymous with “less worthy” (or, as […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley in Search of America

John Steinbeck has been a favorite author of mine ever since my teenage years, when I discovered (in short, though not necessarily precisely in this order) East of Eden, The Pastures of Heaven, Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, and The Pearl, with Grapes of Wrath, The Harvest Gypsies, and Cannery Row following a […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: The New Zealand Books, plus Grave Mistake

The first book by Ngaio Marsh that I ever read happened to be her very last one, Light Thickens, which is as much concerned with a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as it is with the murder of one of the cast members.  To a mystery fan without any Shakespearean inclinations, this might have proved fatal, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

John Mortimer: Murderers and Other Friends

This book is the second part of Mortimer’s autobiography — or rather, his chapter-long essays on life, society, politics, the theatre and movie industry (with guest appearances by Gielgud, Olivier, Niven, Harrison, Guinness, and plenty of other luminaries), the law, justice (not the same thing at all), family, friendship, education, travel, and a whole host […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Joy Harjo: Crazy Brave

Poet Joy Harjo is one of today’s foremost Native American voices; her recently-published memoir was thus a proximate choice for the corresponding entry in my quest to broaden my literary horizons. Harjo’s life story is that of many Native Americans of her generation: as far removed from the American Dream as you can be; socially […]

Read More
Lifestyle Literature Movies Music Reviews

February and March 2021: Reading Recap

Well, go figure.  The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us, never mind that I’m still having to remind myself on occasion to write “2021” instead of “2020” … (and we’re even a week into April already, but let that go). Anyway, since I never got around to doing a “February in review” post, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Zadie Smith: Feel Free

I’ve had several books by Zadie Smith sitting on my TBR for a minor eternity; oddly, when the moment came to finally pick one of them, I didn’t select one of her novels but this collection of essays — which didn’t turn out to be a bad choice, however, as the essays included here did […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Zahra Hankir & Various Authors: Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World

One of the last books I read in the first quarter of 2021 was, at the same time, also one of my reading highlights to date — and next to the likes of Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison (as well as Agatha Christie’s multiple appearances in the area of mysteries), […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Patrick Radden Keefe: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

This was a buddy read with some of my BookLikes exile friends — the inside story of the Northern Ireland conflict, the “Troubles”, from (chiefly) the 1960s up to the Good Friday Agreement and (partways) beyond, inspired and based in part on taped interviews with some of the conflict’s key players recorded in the context […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Patrick Leigh Fermor: The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

The third and final part of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s narrative of his three-year trek on foot, begun more or less spontaneously at the tender age of eighteen, from the Hoek of Holland to Constantinople.  Unlike the first two parts (A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water), which cover his wanderings in […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Shaun Bythell: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

Shaun Bythell: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops This was actually a holdover from February — I had already started the book once but stopped reading after chapter 1, teetering on the verge of a DNF, before ultimately deciding “just finish it; it’s short, what the heck” one Sunday morning in early March […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Barack Obama: A Promised Land

Probably the most-anticipated publication of the final weeks of 2020, and for once I not only rushed to read it but am also inclined to agree with the hype (at least, for the most part).  This is the voice of the President Obama that we’ve come to know while he was in office, perhaps tempered […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Kamala Harris: The Truths We Hold

Harris wrote this book while still serving as a U.S. Senator; still, it also conveys quite a good picture of what kind of Vice President she will be — because it leaves little doubt about the kind of person that she is, and the things that motivate and drive her.  The Truths We Hold: those […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

January 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

I only finished eleven books in January, which isn’t a lot by my standards as of the last couple of years, even taking into account that two of the books were decidedly on the long side (all the more as I balanced out the two long books by two extremely short ones).  But I decided […]

Read More
Blog Literature

2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

Read More