Category Archives: Books

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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Book Review: Michel Houllebecq’s The Elementary Particles

The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq My rating: 2 of 5 stars When in France… Well, I’d heard about Houellebecq for years but never picked up anything until ‘The Elementary Particles’, much celebrated and much discussed, though I stayed away … Continue reading

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2014 in lists (art, books, entertainment, shows)

Aha. New organisational system for 2014… Rather than continue to add to the same big posts of shows and concerts I’ve EVER seen, I’ve organised the old lists into separate archival posts either by the year, or before that… And … Continue reading

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Book Review: Berndt Sellheim’s Beyond the Frame’s Edge

Beyond the Frame’s Edge by Berndt Sellheim My rating: 4 of 5 stars I think what’s interesting about a first novel is how you are introduced to a clear set of the author’s concerns. It is perhaps the book they … Continue reading

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Book Review: Galeano’s Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone

Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Hughes Galeano My rating: 4 of 5 stars I read Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy when I was in my late teens. I wore it with pride, as it seemed to represent … Continue reading

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