Category: reviews

Doctors playing God: Awakenings

Posted September 7, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 6 Comments
Doctors playing God: Awakenings

Oliver Sacks, Awakenings (1999/1973) Of course I’ve heard of Oliver Sacks, author of many books with intriguing titles (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, An Anthropologist on Mars, Seeing Voices, etc.). But  in spite of hearing that Sacks was a terrific writer about fascinating topics out of his practice as a neurologist, […]

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New Release Review: Jean Vanier: Portrait of a Free Man

Posted August 11, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 2 Comments
New Release Review: Jean Vanier: Portrait of a Free Man

Anne-Sophie Constant: Jean Vanier: Portrait of a Free Man (2019) When I was living in a community with adults with developmental disabilities, one of my colleagues told me he had been inspired to take up this work by the writings of Jean Vanier, founder of the international L’Arche movement. I was intrigued, because I had […]

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Don Quixote, Part II: The End

Posted July 14, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 20 Comments
Don Quixote, Part II: The End

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part II (1615) Though I did not stick very well to my chapter-a-day intention, by reading in fits and starts I have finished Don Quixote. When I last checked in, I was in the middle of Part II; Don Quixote and Sancho Panza were being deceived by their aristocratic hosts, […]

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New Release Review: The Heart’s Necessities

Posted June 9, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 0 Comments
New Release Review: The Heart’s Necessities

Jane Tyson Clement with Becca Stevens, The Heart’s Necessities (Plough, 2018) The Heart’s Necessities is a book with at least four layers. The foundation layer is a selection of poems by Jane Tyson Clement, written over a period of more than fifty years and mostly unpublished during the poet’s life. Each section of poems, arranged […]

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Classics Club: The Story of My Life

Posted March 24, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 11 Comments
Classics Club: The Story of My Life

Helen Keller, The Story of My Life (1903) Almost everyone must know who Helen Keller is: the girl who became blind and deaf due to illness before she was two years old, enduring several agonizing years of isolation before being reconnected to the light of thought. The play and film “The Miracle Worker” dramatizes this […]

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Beyond the gender wars: Three books by Terrence Real

Posted March 17, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 10 Comments
Beyond the gender wars: Three books by Terrence Real

Terrence Real, I Don’t Want To Talk About It (1997) Terrence Real, How Can I Get Through to You? (2003) Terrence Real, The New Rules of Marriage (2007) After going through a major relationship crisis last summer (now thankfully resolved), I was searching for solace in the used-book section of my favorite bookstore and came […]

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A book for all seasons: Watership Down

Posted February 24, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 36 Comments
A book for all seasons: Watership Down

Richard Adams, Watership Down (1972) Lately I’ve been disappointed that my son’s interest in reading seems to have flagged. He happily reads Tintin comics and my old Cricket magazines for hours, but the sustained attention required by a novel has been elusive. Until I started reading him Watership Down, that is. I thought this 400-page […]

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A poem a day

Posted February 17, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 14 Comments
A poem a day

Last year, during the season of Lent and Easter, I read a poem each day from the collection The Heart’s Time. I loved using this as an opportunity for reflection and contemplation. In late 2018, poking through a bookstore bargain table, I came across 365 Poems for Every Occasion, a compilation from the Academy of […]

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My first Jane Gardam: Bilgewater

Posted January 27, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 14 Comments
My first Jane Gardam: Bilgewater

Jane Gardam, Bilgewater (1976) The first book you read by a favorite author has a special quality. Even if there are other books by the same author that you realize are more worthy of recognition, the joy of discovery lends your “first” a lingering glow. Sometimes, the particular circumstances of finding the book are stamped […]

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A neverending story: Sword at Sunset

Posted January 20, 2019 by Lory in reviews / 20 Comments
A neverending story: Sword at Sunset

Rosemary Sutcliff, Sword at Sunset (1963) Can a story still be compelling when we already know how it ends? In the case of the Arthurian legend, the appeal never seems to wane. Something about this doomed hero, who will be betrayed by friend and wife and sister and son, yet still strives for goodness and […]

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