I’m normally leery of continuations of Jane Austen novels, or anything that smacks of fan fic in any way, but I heard good things about this novel, so I picked it up. Then I put off reading it for a while, because I was afraid it would be awful. Boy, was I wrong. “Pride and […]
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I picked up “Vita Nostra” largely out of curiosity. I’d never heard of the authors before, but I’m always up for some Russian literature in translation, and the fact that it was contemporary fantasy made it even more intriguing. But when diving into these things, you never know what you’re going to get. And indeed, […]
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I’ve been a big fan of the Penny White series since I read the first book, and “The Business of Bees,” the 8th book in the series, does not disappoint. In fact, the series just goes from strength to strength. If you haven’t read any of the earlier books, you might want to go back […]
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In “Still Come Home,” Katey Schultz weaves together the stories of three struggling people: Nathan Miller, a National Guards officer finishing up his fourth tour in Afghanistan; Aaseya, a 17-year-old Afghan girl who wishes for more education and freedom, both denied to her after her family was killed; and Rahim, Aaseya’s 40-year-old husband, who has […]
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In “We Are the Weather,” Jonathan Safran Foer argues, essentially, that it is our moral imperative to adopt a vegan-before-six diet if we care at all about attempting to prevent the destruction of the human race through human-caused climate change. Although it’s a bit more complicated than that. Safran Foer begins by laying out the […]
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“Iran” brings up a very specific image in the minds of most Westerners: Chadors, morality police, nuclear weapons, and other unsavory things. “Persia,” on the other hand, is redolent of some far-off, ancient Oriental exoticism. Mary Jane Walker’s contemporary account of her recent trek through Iran is thus a welcome corrective to both those images. […]
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“Day of the Oprichnik” has been hailed as one of the classics of post-Soviet fiction, and for good reason. It’s a brilliant satire of Russian society past and present. It’s also deeply disturbing and difficult to read for that reason. But first, the title. Since Russian doesn’t have articles, the literal translation of the original […]
Read more "#TranslationThursday: “Day of the Oprichnik” by Vladimir Sorokin, Translated by Jamey Gambrell"
A Parliament of Crows “A Parliament of Crows” is another installment in Alan M. Clark’s collection of “horror that happened” historical mystery/horror books. It tells the story, based on historical fact, of the three Mortlow sisters, who went on a killing spree that lasted decades. The story could have been lurid, and there are certainly […]
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In “The Dead Wander in the Desert,” we see the final, painful days of the Soviet Union, juxtaposed with the final, painful days of the Aral Sea, as a once-bountiful land dries up and turns to a poisonous, salt-filled desert. The characters in the book fight to preserve the sea, but in vain: the central […]
Read more "#TranslationThursday: “The Dead Wander in the Desert” by Rollan Seisenbayev"
“The Slynx” is one of those works that kept circulating on the edge of my reading consciousness. People were always bringing it up in conversation as something that, of course, we’d all read. Except that I hadn’t. So I finally decided to rectify this error and fill this lacuna in my reading knowledge. Let’s get […]
Read more "#TranslationThursday “The Slynx” by Tatyana Tolstaya"