Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Mavis Gallant’s “About Geneva”

Even the shortest story in The Other Paris provokes a strong sympathy on the part of readers.

Bill Perlmutter: “Through A Soldier’s Lens. Europe In The Fifties”.Click for source details

At the heart of the story are two young children, Ursula who is older than seven and Colin who is younger than seven.

They live […]


Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures (2016)

“There was virtually no aspect of twentieth-century defense technology that had not been touched by the hands and minds of female mathematicians.”

HarperCollins, 2016

That might not come up in math class at school, but it’s evident on every page of Hidden Figures.

“What I wanted was for them to have the […]


November 2016, In My Reading Log

In the wake of my IFOA reading list and the literary prizelists of the season, my November reading felt relatively whimsical. Without duedates attached to the majority of my reading, it was a pleasure to slip into volumes which had sat untouched in recent weeks.

Each of these three volumes covers, in one way or another, […]


Summer Reading To-Do List for Stormy Days (4 of 4)

Such good reading this summer, so far. In other respects, perhaps mine has not been the most productive summer. But it all depends what one puts on a to-do list, doesn’t it! What if your to-do list was all about the books in your stacks?

House of Anansi, 2015

For off-the-land adventure: 

Gather nuts and […]


Cynthia Ozick’s Foreign Bodies (2011)

It’s 1952, in the hottest summer that Paris has had since before the war.

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2012

Beatrice writes to her brother, Marvin, saying “Paris was terrible”, and she has little else to report.

She has travelled there, at Marvin’s request, to look for Marvin’s son, Julian.

But although there were […]


Thrilled by Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain’s Sacred Country (1992) London: Sceptre – Hodder and Stoughton, 1993.

I was thrilled with this book.

So thrilled that, although I had read almost half of it before I lost track of it in a chaotic part of the year, I re-read that half willingly on a second pass.

But that took time. […]


Leila Aboulela’s Lyrics Alley (2010)

Leila Aboulela’s Lyrics Alley Harper Collins, 2010

(Looking for a swallow rather than a full glass? ORANGE Squirt below.)

Lyrics Alley is set in 1950s Sudan, a few years before it gains independence. It’s a time of intense upheaval politically, but the focus of Leila Aboulela’s third novel is personal upheaval in these years.

Readers […]