Category Archive: Around the World in 80 Books

#AW80Books: Madeleine Thien’s ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’

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Some books are so brilliant, they’re difficult to put down. Sometimes the opposite is true, too. A novel can be so powerful that it can’t be rushed, so important that I need to… Continue reading

Heavy Reading

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My son is a cadet in the merchant navy and he has just set sail on his next voyage – sob! I took him to the airport to see him off, and on… Continue reading

‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith – #20 Books of Summer

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My experience of Zadie Smith’s writing has been extreme. When the world went crazy for her debut, White Teeth (2000), I just didn’t feel the love, but I was persuaded to give Smith another… Continue reading

#AW80Books: Ruin and Redemption – Lisa McInerney’s ‘The Glorious Heresies’

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Having spent some time lolling about in a reading torpor, I had begun to suspect that I had either totally lost my ability to concentrate or, worse, fallen out of love with fiction.… Continue reading

#AW80Books – When half of a quiet American isn’t quite enough

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I’ve been meaning to break my Graham Greene duck for a long time so I was delighted when The Quiet American was picked as my bookgroup’s book choice for last month. Also, it gives… Continue reading

#AW80Books: ‘The Man Who Went Up in Smoke’ by Sjowall & Wahloo

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It’s been a while since I read the first novel by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Roseanna, and as I’ve abandoned myself to my current craving for crime, I thought I’d dig out the… Continue reading

#AW80Books: Mr Fortune’s Maggot – Sylvia Townsend Warner

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Feeling in need of some escapism in the wake of recent political events, I thought I’d swan off to the tropical heat and swaying palms of the South Sea Islands – in my… Continue reading

#AW80Books – Slim, quirky and intoxicating – Amelie Nothomb’s ‘Petronille’

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Pétronille by Amélie Nothomb (2014, translation by Alison Anderson) was this month’s reading  choice for my book group. While her parents are Belgian, Nothomb was born in Japan but currently lives in Paris.… Continue reading

When all else fails to inspire me, food will!

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As my reading concentration is still decidedly lacy after recent current events, I thought I would try food as a lure, to lull me into a state of engaged calm, enabling me to… Continue reading

Looking Away

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The steady rise of the far right since the financial crisis of 2008 has been one of the most frequent causes of my insomnia. I might not sleep any better, but I want… Continue reading