Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Tabish Khair’s Just Another Jihadi Jane

Jihadi Jane by Tabish Khair My rating: 4 of 5 stars How to imagine the unimaginable? Tabish Khair sets himself quite a task, and a particularly relevant one, in asking how young people from around the world have joined the … Continue reading

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Book Review: Patrick Modiano’s Paris Nocturne

Paris Nocturne by Patrick Modiano My rating: 3 of 5 stars I’ve been meaning to read something by Modiano since he won the Nobel prize. I finally decided, as I’ve just arrived back in Paris, to start with Paris Nocturnes. … Continue reading

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Book Review: Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood My rating: 3 of 5 stars I’ve got a long history with Margaret (or Peg as her friends call her). I think I even wrote a university essay on her first book, ‘Surfacing’, … Continue reading

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Book Review: Mary Norris’s Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris My rating: 3 of 5 stars I really had some rather high hopes for this book, being a copy editor. It started with great promise, and Norris showed … Continue reading

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Book Review: Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara My rating: 5 of 5 stars *Non-spoiler review* A deeply emotional, beautifully written novel: full, complex and harrowing. It speaks with depth about our relationships of friendship and love, and also our relationship with … Continue reading

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The Sze Yap underachievers

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and came across a passage that struck me. His theory is that the cultures that cultivated rice paddies, as compared to other crops such as wheat, learned that their success depended not on … Continue reading

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Book Review: Michael Cunningham’s The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham My rating: 5 of 5 stars Michael Cunningham has always been one of my favourite authors and his latest book, The Snow Queen, reminded me why: I think it will be one of my … Continue reading

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Book Review: Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce

Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre My rating: 4 of 5 stars On my last visit home to Vancouver, a friend gave me this book; I think he knows the author. When I first became friends … Continue reading

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Book Review: Patrick Gale’s Notes from an Exhibition

Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a novel about the death of an artist that allows an exploration of her family, with key themes of manic depression, the Quaker religion, artistic … Continue reading

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Book Review (of sorts): Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel My rating: 4 of 5 stars I understand the fuss, and also the frustration. The writing in this book is simply beautiful, and the portrait of Cromwell, and his negotiations, machinations and dealings, is complex … Continue reading

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