Kit de Waal’s “My Name is Leon”

I came across this book completely by coincidence. I had an awkward gap between meetings and seminars at the London Book Fair and I saw that Kit de Waal was speaking at the time. I knew she writes for The Guardian occasionally, so I decided to trot along to the talk. It was interesting enough for me to buy her debut book My Name is Leon. … Continue reading Kit de Waal’s “My Name is Leon”

Thomas Paine “Common Sense” – book review

Attempting to review Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is somewhat absurd. After all, as a political pamphlet, it set itself one task above all: to persuade its readers and that aim it has unquestionably achieved. You cannot possibly read an account of the American Revolution which does not mention Thomas Paine. America’s independence seems now to be unquestionably common-sense. Yet it was fascinating to read Paine in … Continue reading Thomas Paine “Common Sense” – book review

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