The Old Beauty and Others

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Read 23/04/2018

Rating: 4 stars

Over in A Corner of Cornwall, Sandra’s recent Six Degrees post brought Willa Cather’s The Old Beauty and Others to my attention. First published in Britain nine years after Cather’s death, the volume brings together the last three short stories she wrote, each one a masterclass in how to write this literary form, each one containing an entire world within its pages. Continue reading

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I Was Told to Come Alone: My journey behind the lines of jihad

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Read 14/04/2018-22/04/2018

Rating: 4 stars

All you need to know is, you need to read this book.

I became aware of I Was Told to Come Alone when it was included in the March Madness Reading Challenge. After I read Home Fire, I felt like I needed to read something based on the real experience of the young men who become jihadis and the young women who become jihadi brides. So I reserved it at the library. And I’m very glad that I did. Continue reading

Sing, Unburied, Sing

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Read 03/04/2018-08/04/2018

Rating: 5 stars

Sing, Unburied, Sing is Jesmyn Ward’s third novel. It’s the first I’ve heard of, thanks to the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It’s also the book I chose to win in the Reader’s Room March Madness Reading Challenge. It didn’t win, but so what? It’s a book that is more than a reading challenge target.

It’s a book that is full of life. A book that will enrich the life of anyone who reads it. This book is vital. Continue reading

The Fountain in the Forest

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Read 31/03/2018-03/04/2018

Rating: 4 stars

I read a review of The Fountain in the Forest in The Guardian which makes reference to Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec, as well as David Peace, Jorge Luis Borges and Paul Auster. All of these men are innovative writers whose works I admire. The review also introduces The Fountain in the Forest as a pulp style detective novel. Police procedurals and books about private detectives are probably my favourite genre. If I had to pick one, I mean. If I had to. The review made it sound as though this book would be right up my alley.

After I finished reading the review, I immediately placed a reservation request with my local library. Continue reading