Six Degrees of Separation: from The Poisonwood Bible to Labyrinths

The Poisonwood Bible starts May’s Six Degrees, hosted at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Last month I celebrated the joys of lending books. This month I’ll be rueing the giving away of books. Continue reading

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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

Sightseeing

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Read 18/06/2017-21/06/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Read as part of the Reader’s Room Read Around the World challenge.

I’m only loosely doing the current challenge on the Reader’s Room. I still have too many books on my pile to commit fully to tracking down books from far flung corners of the world. June is Thailand, though, and I thought some Thai literature might make for good summer reading.

My library has a copy of Rattawut Lapcharoensap’s Sightseeing. This is a collection of short stories set in Thailand, that shines a light on local life, both away from the tourist industry and where it butts up to it. Continue reading

Fantastic Night

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Read 13/03/2017-21/03/2017

Rating: 5 stars

Over on Brontë’s Page Turners not so long ago was a review of a novella by Stefan Zweig. I hadn’t heard of Zweig, but Brontë’s review made me want to read something by him.

Last week I went to the library to borrow one specific book. The library staff had done that thing of getting a table out and putting books on it to entice people to borrow them. One of the books was The Portable Veblen, which I’ve already read. But it pulled my irresolute eye towards the table and then Stefan Zweig’s Fantastic Night winked at me. There and then, I couldn’t recall why I knew his name, but I borrowed it anyway. Continue reading

Travelling Light

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Read 06/03/2017-08/03/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Read for The Reader’s Room Winter Challenge.

I’m a big fan of Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories. I have been from childhood, when I borrowed Comet in Moominland from my primary school library. I love the way they deal with serious matters and reflect the best and worst of human nature through the curious inhabitants of Moomin Valley. I’m also a fan of Jansson’s fiction for adults, which is steadily being translated into English. Continue reading