NON-REVIEW: THE WHITE BOOK, BY HAN KANG, TRANSLATED BY DEBORAH SMITH (2018)

My mind is seldom quiet when I read. Over the past year and two months, I've reviewed at least one book each week, with almost no weeks off. As a result, I've become better at formulating opinions on the books I read. I've learned tricks—like reading part of the book aloud to myself, to get … Continue reading NON-REVIEW: THE WHITE BOOK, BY HAN KANG, TRANSLATED BY DEBORAH SMITH (2018)

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REVIEW: WRESTLIANA, BY TOBY LITT (2018)

Toby Litt is a novelist. His great-great-great grandfather, William Litt, was a novelist and a champion wrestler. William Litt wrote a book titled Wrestliana. It came out in 1823, and it was the first book ever written and published about wrestling—its history, theory, and practice, and why it's better than all other sports. Toby Litt also wrote a book … Continue reading REVIEW: WRESTLIANA, BY TOBY LITT (2018)

REVIEW: FLIGHTS, BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (2017)

When I finished reading Olga Tokarczuk's Flights, I immediately found a spot for it on my shelves, between Season of Migration to the North and Naondel. And suddenly I was truck by how small an object it is. It spans so many topics and countries and centuries that it should be Atlas-sized, or several volumes … Continue reading REVIEW: FLIGHTS, BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (2017)

REVIEW: THE UNWOMANLY FACE OF WAR, BY SVETLANA ALEXIEVICH, TRANSLATED BY RICHARD PEVEAR AND LARISSA VOLOKHONSKY (2017)

CN: book contains rape, graphic violence. I did not expect to devour this book the way I did. Of all the books that I've ever felt compelled to consume greedily and compulsively--of all the books that I've ever sat down with intending to read for only a few minutes, only to re-emerge several hours later--I … Continue reading REVIEW: THE UNWOMANLY FACE OF WAR, BY SVETLANA ALEXIEVICH, TRANSLATED BY RICHARD PEVEAR AND LARISSA VOLOKHONSKY (2017)

REVIEW: THIS LITTLE ART, BY KATE BRIGGS (2017)

On page 38 of This Little Art, Kate Briggs brings up twentieth-century French literary theorist Roland Barthes' concept of textes d'appui: Supporting texts: the texts that brace us, the ones we lean on, testing them to see if they'll support our weight; the texts we always seem to be in conversation with, whether directly or … Continue reading REVIEW: THIS LITTLE ART, BY KATE BRIGGS (2017)

REVIEW: TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, BY VALERIA LUISELLI (2017)

Tell Me How It Ends is a 100-page essay describing with "anger and clarity" the cruel and surreal way in which the US government treats refugee children--specifically ones from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, following the so-called "immigration crisis" of 2014, in which tens of thousands of children from these countries crossed the American border … Continue reading REVIEW: TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, BY VALERIA LUISELLI (2017)

BOOK REVIEW: THE ETHICAL CARNIVORE, BY LOUISE GRAY (2016)

For two years, between July 2014 and July 2016, environmental journalist Louise Gray only ate animals she killed herself. She also visited farms, abattoirs, and fishing boats, and hung out with farmers, fishermen, hunters, gamekeepers, a slaughterman or two, as well as a Halal Monitoring Committe inspector, in an effort to better understand how it … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: THE ETHICAL CARNIVORE, BY LOUISE GRAY (2016)