Monthly Archives: January 2017

January Round-Up

In Jan 2017 I read 21 books. This compares pretty favourably with last January, when I read 10. Please note visual aid below (I just like charts). Some other numbers In January I read 4 male-authored books – the rest … Continue reading

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on standards and self-care: Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life”

“It is easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren’t writers, and very little harm comes to them.” – Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot. In The Writing Life, Annie Dillard tears apart writing, the writing process, the romance … Continue reading

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“filler” books: Gavin Extence’s “The Empathy Problem”

I’ve been reading The Empathy Problem slowly over the last few days – one interesting feature of the novel is that its chapters are very short – a page or two, so it’s easy to pick up and put down. … Continue reading

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unfinished reads

Things I am reading at the moment, but haven’t finished: Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. Started this collection of essays on a flight, and have already noted about ten horror films to watch. Lily King’s Euphoria. Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs … Continue reading

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on the unrelenting ubiquity of sexual violence: Craig Thompson’s “Habibi” and Naomi Alderman’s “The Power”

Something that I noticed last year – well, less “noticed” and more “was insistently thrust upon me repeatedly” – was the pervasiveness of sexual violence in the books I was reading. I couldn’t go two books (fiction and non-fiction alike) … Continue reading

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on reader response theory: Tahir Shah’s “The Caliph’s House”

Whenever I read a memoir like this, it is always in the back of my mind – how would this writer have described Brunei if he had come across similar cultural quirks? Would there have been that same generosity of … Continue reading

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Muslim fiction: “Sofia Khan is Not Obliged” by Ayisha Malik

About halfway through reading this one, I started texting my friends. I said, “I really wanted to like this book, because hijabi protagonist! Muslim fiction! But it’s so. damn. shallow.” I was feeling really bummed, because up until about halfway, … Continue reading

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