“Matylda: And I Thought Everyone Drives a Limo in Amerika” by Filip Zachoval

“Matylda” is the story of a wide-eyed Czech boy who spends the summer of 1998 on a work exchange in the US.  Intertwined with his impressions of American food (too sugary), American cops (constantly keeping an eye on him), and American shopping (amazing, but out of his price range), are the stories of his parents […]

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“1989” by Taylor Swift

What to say about this magnificent album?  Well, many things, as it happens.  But I’ll just pick one or two. One could wax on at length about the infectiously catchy songs, tinged with just the right touch of sorrow.  One could talk about Swift’s meteoric rise from country curiosity to pop star of epic proportions. […]

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“The Girl From the Tea Garden” by Janet MacLeod Trotter

“The Girl From The Tea Garden” evokes one of my secret favorite genres– Anglo-Indian tales from the late 19th/early 20th century (I know, I know, it’s weirdly specific). Whether from the British perspective (e.g., “The Secret Garden,” which starts off in India before moving to Yorkshire) or the Indian perspective (e.g., “Gay-Neck”), these stories are […]

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“Mad Love” by Nick Spalding

“Mad Love” is a romantic comedy that is long on the comedy, if a bit short on the romance. Adam and Jessica both entered a dating website competition on a whim–only to discover that they’ve signed up, not for a blind date, but a blind marriage. Feeling fairly desperate about their housing situations, they agree […]

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“Dragonhorse and the Seeker of the Forgotten Knowledge” by Denice Garrou

“Dragonhorse” basically fulfilled all my childhood fantasies. In it, a young woman discovers she has magical powers, which she uses mainly to heal horses. I can’t tell you how much this idea gripped me (and continues to grip me). So if you, too, harbor fantasies of using magical powers to heal beautiful horses who become […]

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