Is Selfishness the Key to Happiness?

I’m sure most of us would immediately answer “no” to the question the title poses. I do. I think self-care and self-love are important in order to be able to share love and affection with others, but I don’t think selfishness leads to happiness. However, one of the characters of Anita Brookner’s Hotel Du Lac... Continue Reading →

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A Little Du Maurier

I've read Rebecca (1938) by Daphne Du Maurier. It is a great book of suspense. I read it as part of the BBC book list that I was reading from when I started this blog. (I should get back to that.) I'm not sure why, but I stopped there with Du Maurier. I didn't think, "That... Continue Reading →

Which Alexander McCall Smith Series?

I recently tried to read Corduroy Mansions, the first book in a series by Alexander McCall Smith. As you may recall, I love Smith's work. But after starting, and then stopping, this book, I realized something. I love the series featuring Isabel Dalhousie. And I love Precious Ramotswe of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.... Continue Reading →

Wicked Girls

What happens when two children who murdered another child together grow up, are released from prison, and then find each other again? That is the premise of Alex Marwood’s thriller The Wicked Girls (2012). My sister Afton recommended it to me, and I’m glad she did. I could not put it down. The book flashes... Continue Reading →

On Beauty Is a Novel

As I begin reading Zadie Smith’s first novel White Teeth (2000), I realize that I have not yet posted about reading her book On Beauty (2005). For some reason, when I opened it, I expected some sort of feminist critique of media and advertising. I thought it was nonfiction. To my surprise (and delight) it... Continue Reading →

Literary Wives: The Disobedient Wife

A disobedient wife, in the context of contemporary Tajikistan, is a wife who wants autonomy and acts on it. The Disobedient Wife (2015), beautifully written if somewhat disjointed in the transitions through time, is a strong statement of what women need and want in order to exercise their agency. We see this theme through the... Continue Reading →

Oh My

We finished reading Lord of the Flies (1954), number 49 on the BBC book list, by William Golding. I read it to my 11-year-old daughter, who has been recovering from a tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy this week. I've read it before, but I had forgotten most of it. Oh my. I feel a loss of... Continue Reading →

A Girl, A Train

I just finished reading The Girl on the Train (2015) by Paula Hawkins, and I have to say that I enjoyed the read. It wasn’t the best written book I’ve ever read, nor was it high literature, but it was fun, and just what I needed to take my mind off of dissertation writing and... Continue Reading →

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