Thumbs up for Gigi and The Cat by Colette. Literature.
When I was young I knew a woman who, disliking the name she was born with, changed her name to Colette in honor of the author. At the time I was too young to even wonder what sort of writer would be worthy of such an honor. Well, having at last read Colette, I can safely say: She is worthy of it.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Goldilocks Returns by Lisa Campbell Ernst. Children’s.
A rather painful but funny look at what Goldilocks does later in life.
“Goldi had nightmares about bears. She cried at the mere sight of a teddy bear. Her customers even began to look like bears. ‘I can’t take it any longer!’ she sobbed at last. ‘It’s time I set things right.'”
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Thumbs down for Kokoro by Natsume Soseki. Literature.
Sometimes you just can’t wait to finish a book so you can write a bad review of it. God, was this one of those books. In the first section, a dull and faintly irritating student chooses as his Sensei (teacher) a man who is patently without wisdom and thus unworthy of the role.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. Young adult.
So very earnest. That’s what I remember about Little Women, too; actually, that’s one of the things I liked most about Little Women. Sometimes I feel that there isn’t enough unabashed earnestness in books these days. The heroine is proper and warm-hearted and cheery and industrious and charitable etc.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. Nonfiction essays.
I adore Gladwell’s three other books, but I was rather disappointed by this one. Not that it’s bad: Gladwell is still one of the best nonfiction writers in the world, and if he wrote cereal boxes I’d recommend them. I liked the first section quite a bit, which dealt with the stories of unexpected things and people (gourmet ketchup, hairdye, Ceasar Millan the dog trainer).… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood by Barb Bentler Ullman. Young adult.
A very cute story about a girl who moves with her recently-divorced mom to the country, and discovers something out of the ordinary. Well-written (for its age group), and perhaps more importantly, well-constructed; I was surprised to read in the back that it was the author’s first book.… >> Read more
Thumbs down for The Woman In The Dunes by Kobo Abe. Literature.
Oh God I hated this book. I thought that I hated Battle Royale (see my review); as it turned out, I don’t. That was badly written, but a positive joyride compared to this book. The Woman in the Dunes was well-written, sometimes very beautifully so, but I have not one existential bone in my body and therefore it was downright excruciating to read.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. Young adult.
All sorts of grim, melancholy and disfunctional Japanese literature have made my desires swing entirely in the opposite direction: in other words, romances. L. M. Montgomery is about as romantic as I can stand. I’d heard this one was particularly good, so I thought I’d give it a try.… >> Read more