Tag Archives: review

The Life and Times of William Howard Taft — Henry F. Pringle

Taft was a middling president who had an impressive career both before and after his time in office. Pringle’s biography does an excellent job in portraying the early Taft, up to his return from the Philippines, but deteriorates somewhat after … Continue reading

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A Spool of Blue Thread — Anne Tyler

With the announcement of the winner imminent, I am in something of a mad dash to finish the Yanagihara in time. I have a lot of pages left, so it’s going to be hit or miss. As a consequence, this … Continue reading

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Satin Island — Tom McCarthy

I didn’t like this book from the start. By the time I reached page 11 I even primed a rant about the various shortcomings I had observed up to that point which included irrelevant information, an overly pretentious vocabulary, and … Continue reading

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Midnight’s Children — Salman Rushdie

Sorry for the delay in publishing posts lately: I have spent the last month or so either away in India or catching up on my massive backlog of work for having been away in India. However, to make up this … Continue reading

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How to be Both — Ali Smith

I finished How to be Both on a train coming back from London. I spent the final 20 minutes of my journey sitting in silence with the book closed on my lap simply processing what I had read. This is … Continue reading

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James Madison — Richard Brookhiser

Madison and Jefferson make for an interesting comparison. Both were native Virginians and scholarly in their approach, which probably contributed to their long-term association with each other. Neither was a particularly good public speaker, and between the two of them, … Continue reading

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The Testament of Mary — Colm Tóibín

As one walks through the San Polo sestiere of Venice heading south-west, it would be hard to miss a large brick church looming over the area. The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is sizeable but deceptively plain for … Continue reading

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Bring Up The Bodies — Hilary Mantel

Bring Up The Bodies is Mantel’s second book about the life of Thomas Cromwell and her second win at the Booker. She joins J. G. Farrell, J. M. Coetzee and Peter Carey in the distinction of having won twice; like … Continue reading

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Wolf Hall — Hilary Mantel

Due to a variety of events in my personal life (not least a visit from my fiancée and moving house), it has been some time since I have updated this blog. Consequently, I am going to offer two posts for … Continue reading

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Atonement — Ian McEwan

Last week I gave one of my classes a challenge to read a book from a set list of around 200 and to present back to me what they discovered from that reading in an interesting way. The list itself … Continue reading

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