Joseph Conrad “A Personal Record” – book review

This is not a chronological autobiography – Conrad doesn’t go through all the events of his life. Instead, he focuses on what one might call turning points: when he decided to join the navy, when he wrote his first novel, when he revisited his hometown after 20 years absence. The whole is a carefully crafted meditation on what it means for him to be a writer. … Continue reading Joseph Conrad “A Personal Record” – book review

Han Kang “The Vegetarian”- book review

Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is one of these novels that I fundamentally fail to understand. There – I’ve said it – think of me as badly of me as you like. The story begins when a hitherto well-behaved and traditional wife, Yeong-Hye, suddenly decides to become a vegetarian. Her husband and her family are outraged. But is it really a simple case of ethical guilt … Continue reading Han Kang “The Vegetarian”- book review

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez – book review

There haven’t been any reviews on this blog for a while –  I’ve been reading a few books, but of the sort that I’m usually slightly embarrassed about reviewing online (but read anyway). In the same way as I read a book about perfect skin, because of my acne…. I read a self-help book about finances, because my finances are not as great as I’d … Continue reading Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez – book review

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla – book review

The Good Immigrant is a collection of 21 essays by BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic writers) exploring what it’s like to be an ethnic minority in the UK. As in all essay collections, (they share this strange quality with boxes of chocolates), there are some essays I love to bits, and some that left me with nothing more than a vague sense of appreciation. It’s … Continue reading The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla – book review

Perfect Skin by Alexandra Soveral

As you might have realised, I have something of an embarrassing weakness for self-help books. Hand me anything that promises to help me improve myself and I will probably grab it. This particular book had a positive review in the Financial Times, and so… I bought it. When I was reading the review, I somehow managed to miss the fact that the book is about … Continue reading Perfect Skin by Alexandra Soveral

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois – book review

I wasn’t quite sure what I expected when I first picked up The Souls of Black Folk – but I certainly did not expect to encounter quite as many statistics… W.E.B. Du Bois wrote his PhD, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, at Harvard, and his scholarly apparatus is in evidence in his essays examining “the problem … Continue reading The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois – book review

Stephen Fry’s Mythos – book review

I listened to Stephen Fry’s Mythos as an audiobook – a version I highly recommend, as it is read by the author himself.   I ended up listening to Mythos because I had a few credits on Audible that I had to spend very quickly, as I had decided to unsubscribe. Stephen Fry’s retelling of the Greek myths was on the bestseller list and I … Continue reading Stephen Fry’s Mythos – book review

A Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave- book review

I reached for this book because I realized that although I had read several fictional accounts of slavery, I had not read any first-person accounts. I thought Frederick Douglas’s autobiography might be the perfect place to start.   It is the first of three autobiographies that Frederick Douglass wrote in his own lifetime. It covers only the years of his enslavement, up to the point … Continue reading A Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave- book review