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Fay
Recent Activity
Congratulations to Tan Twan Eng on winning the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction for his novel The Garden of Evening Mists. This novel was a personal favorite novel of last year. Click the link to read my review from last fall. Other books on a strong shortlist this year... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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In recent years, I have developed the bad habit of picking up used copies of "Best Of" annual collections--best poems, best stories, best whatnot--and then letting the books sit on the shelf. This summer would be a good time to read through some of those. The Best American Essays 2007... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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My knowledge of the history of the women’s movement in the United States has been limited to an outline of the events of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention and a passing familiarity with the work of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott. The Grimké sisters, Angelina and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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Today marks the centenary of Barbara Pym's birth, and yesterday kicked off Barbara Pym Reading Week. What a great idea! Unfortunately, my reading stack is teetering at the moment, and I may not be able to participate, even though a few of her novels are still on my TBR shelf.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2013 at Read, Ramble
The trailer for the film based on Yu Hua's 1993 novel To Live gives an idea of why one observer called it "the Gone with the Wind of China." Although the film by Zhang Yimou was banned in China--perhaps because the censors considered the frank portrayal of the rise of... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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My introduction to John le Carré came through film and video: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold with Richard Burton and the two Smiley series starring the great Alec Guinness (from the late ‘Seventies and early ‘Eighties) that I watched for the first time just a few years... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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Over the past six months, audiobooks have played more of a role in my "reading" than they had in the last ten years. Ratings of these books are more subjective than reviews of books in print, since so much depends on the response of the reader to the style of... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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Occasionally a book comes along that is worthy of a review or recommendation, but for some reason I am not inspired to write a blog post about it. About a year ago, Anna Funder's All That I Am was such a novel. This fine historical novel won Australia's Miles Franklin... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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"No other American writer, before or since, has so powerfully shaped the way in which Americans view another culture." – Peter Conn, professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, on Pearl S. Buck and China. Just getting started on the audiobook of The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (read by... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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After reading, over time, some fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm through DailyLit emails, I turned to Tales from China, retold by Cyril Birch and originally published in 1961 as Chinese Myths and Fantasies. The inventiveness and magic of these sparkling tales entertain throughout. I was due for some carefree,... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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Anthony Trollope wrote this note in his copy of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. "This, perhaps, is the prettiest comedy that ever was written in any language. It is like a fairy tale, perfect in grace and beauty, but without fairies. The poet has dared to throw all probabilities to... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2013 at Read, Ramble
I read this book at a time when culinary history was taking up a lot of my reading time, and it was a perfect pairing. Very enjoyable read.
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This year's James Beard cookbook awards have been announced. I have sampled recipes from a couple of the winning books that were available at the library, including the Cookbook of the Year: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla. This is a massive tome, 901... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple might not have come to my attention without its inclusion on the shortlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize). Our local public library here in rural Montana has had a copy of it for three months, and I was... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2013 at Read, Ramble
Congratulations to Adam Johnson on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Orphan Master's Son. When he was interviewed on public television in January, 2012, the book looked interesting, but I was still reeling after reading a novel by Herta Müller and lacked the backbone at that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2013 at Read, Ramble
The Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) has announced this year's shortlist. There goes all resolution to stop buying books. Zadie Smith. Barbara Kingsolver. Hilary Mantel. Kate Atkinson. A.M. Homes. Maria Semple. The local library has three of six, not bad for a rural Montana library. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2013 at Read, Ramble
Condolences to the families of the victims, and best wishes for the speedy recovery of the injured. At a time like this, I am tempted to take a break from the blog. How trivial the whole project can seem in comparison to the dimension of the human suffering in Boston.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2013 at Read, Ramble
The last post here covered the collection Paris in Mind (2003), in which a couple of letters by poet T.S. Eliot appear. His advice to another poet, Robert McAlmon, then living in Paris, carries beyond the specific context of Paris. This would be a good message to hear about at... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2013 at Read, Ramble
Fay is now following Lisa May
Apr 13, 2013
During a busy time, reading in stolen moments may be all that circumstances allow. Lately my reading time has been devoted to short stories, magazine articles, essays, and other collections of miscellany. Those little slivers of writing have fit during a period when longer books have eluded me. That, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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How delightful to receive a free promo cookbook in the mail: Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair. Thanks to Ten Speed Press and Renee at Magnolia Days for holding the contest during #SundaySupper a couple of weeks ago. The photography presents appetizing food, and some of these recipes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2013 at Read, Ramble
With the acquisition of GoodReads by Amazon, I will no longer be posting reviews at GoodReads and just deleted 55 of my reviews posted there. My interest in having reviews posted at Amazon is nil, and this way there is no chance any of my reviews will migrate to Amazon... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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Gentle Readers, Blogging has been slowed by my book choices: long histories, slow-moving short story collections to be savored and not rushed, mysteries and thrillers read for fun and relaxation, stacks of cookbooks. Music history is taking up more of my reading time lately, and in support of that interest,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2013 at Read, Ramble
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On a whim, I signed up for the Reddit 2013 Book Exchange, which involves mailing a book to a randomly assigned participant and receiving a book in the mail from another anonymous participant. It is not a swap between two readers but a give-and-receive exchange that involves random assignment of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2013 at Read, Ramble
In recent days, fiction in translation has been getting some attention with the announcements of the longlists for both The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Best Translated Book Award (from the Three Percent blog at the University of Rochester). Three books appear on both lists: Satantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2013 at Read, Ramble