Category: reviews

Back to the Classics: The Old Man and the Sea

Posted September 20, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 17 Comments
Back to the Classics: The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952) I’ve never been drawn to reading Hemingway, never got pulled into the mythology around him. I’d heard his language was simple — some said to the point of being a simplistic sort of “he-man” utterance, even though others lauded it as a pillar of modernism. I […]

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Reading Robertson Davies: The Cunning Man

Posted August 30, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 6 Comments
Reading Robertson Davies: The Cunning Man

Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man (1994) For this year’s Robertson Davies Reading Weekend, I wanted to revisit Davies’s last novel — which, of course, he could not have known to be the last; he had begun to draft a new novel at the time of his death, so it seems he intended to at least […]

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Back to the Classics: Le Petit Prince

Posted August 23, 2020 by Lory in challenges, reviews / 12 Comments
Back to the Classics: Le Petit Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince (1949) There are, I would argue, two main kinds of “children’s books.” First of all there are the books that address a child’s perspective, which means the point of view of someone who is growing into the physical world and all its possibilities and challenges. These are stories of […]

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Back to the Classics: Brideshead Revisited

Posted July 26, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 11 Comments
Back to the Classics: Brideshead Revisited

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (1945) This was a reread for me, and I was already familiar with the plot — I’ll be discussing it here, so please don’t continue if you mind spoilers. Subtitled “The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder,” the novel opens with the Captain and his army troop moving to […]

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Nonfiction Book Review: I Contain Multitudes

Posted June 28, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 11 Comments
Nonfiction Book Review: I Contain Multitudes

Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life (2016) When I was asked to contribute a “book I should have read” to Keeping Up with the Penguins, this one sprang to mind. And spurred by that reminder, I did finally read it! I can now recommend it to […]

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New Release Review: Shadowplay

Posted June 21, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 2 Comments
New Release Review: Shadowplay

Joseph O’Connor, Shadowplay (2019) Till recently, I knew nothing about Bram Stoker beyond his name, as the author of Dracula. I didn’t know he was the theatrical manager for Henry Irving, and worked with Ellen Terry — about both of whom I did know a little more, largely thanks to my reading of the theatre-mad […]

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Back to the Classics: The World I Live In

Posted April 19, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
Back to the Classics: The World I Live In

Helen Keller, The World I Live In (1908) When I read Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, I was intrigued by one of the last letters quoted in the book, written to a college professor who found her compositions too derivative and wondered when she would write of her own unique experiences: I have […]

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Nonfiction Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score

Posted March 22, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 9 Comments
Nonfiction Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score

Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (2014) In keeping with my resolution to read more nonfiction this year — ideally, not only memoir or biography — I made my way through this book in the first couple of months of 2020. It took […]

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Back to the Classics: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Posted February 23, 2020 by Lory in reviews / 12 Comments
Back to the Classics: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) I’m not a horror fan, so I’ve never made an effort to read the classics of the genre — but for one reason or another, in the last few years I’ve read Frankenstein, Dracula, and now this brief but hugely influential tale […]

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