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    The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows (Review)

    I decided to read this book because I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society co-written by Annie Barrows, and I hoped that The Truth According to Us would give me at least half of the enjoyment of the former. Read on to find out whether that was the case. We have the twenty-something Layla Beck, the spoiled daughter of a US State Senator. We have twelve-year-old Willa Romeyn who lives in Virginia with her unmarried aunt Jottie, her younger sister, and their father Felix who travels a lot for work. It is the summer of 1939 and the…

  • Articles,  Books,  General,  Literary,  Reviews

    The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Review)

    “I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter, died at my own choosing, and wept for a nightingale. Now I am beyond prophecy.” The last in a series are hard books to get right. More fail than not. So, I was certainly apprehensive about reading the last book of a trilogy I had loved until then. But, as it turned out, I shouldn’t have been. Katherine Arden nails it with The Winter of the Witch. In the book preceding this, Vasilisa “Vasya” Petrovna has accidentally caused the destruction of a large part of the city of Moscow by releasing the mythical firebird;…

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    Shotgun Lovesongs – Nikolas Butler (Review)

    ‘Here, I can hear things, the world throbs differently, silence thrums like a chord strummed eons ago, music in the aspen trees and in the firs and the burr oaks and even in the fields of drying corn.’ I picked up Shotgun Lovesongs because of the cover and bought it because the blurb intrigued me. Four childhood friends – Henry (Hank), Ronnie, Lee, and Kit – from Little Wing, Wisconsin are now in their early thirties and a lot of life has happened since their unfettered, simple days hanging out on a grain silo and watching sunsets and sunrises. A…

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    Nowhere Man – Aleksandar Hemon (A book review)

    “Ordinary facts are arranged within time, strung along its length as on a thread. There they have their antecedents and their consequences, which crowd tightly together and press hard one upon the other without any pause. This has its importance for any narrative, of which continuity and successiveness are the soul. Yet what is to be done with events that have no place of their own in time; events that have occurred too late, after the whole of time has been distributed, divided and allotted; events that have been left in the cold, unregistered, hanging in the air, errant and…

  • Articles,  Books,  General,  Literary,  Reviews

    The Auschwitz Violin (A book review)

    The Auschwitz Violin – Maria Angels Anglada Originally published in Spanish in 1994 English translation in 2011 by Maria Tennent   I’d bought the Kindle version of this book a few years ago, but somehow never got around to reading it until now. When I opened it, I was surprised to see that it was only 160 odd pages – I even wondered whether the version I’d bought was incomplete! This novella-sized story has two parallel narratives – Daniel, a luthier (violin maker) in one of Auschwitz’s concentration camps, who is ordered by his Commandant to craft a violin to…

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