Reads from South Africa

I picked up some books (way too many and I had to carry them home) during my travels in South Africa and Botswana. I was there to do academic research in several archives, and along the way, I spent time in several bookstores. Here are my thoughts on some of these books, now that I've... Continue Reading →

Where Mandela Walked

“All my life, I have fought against white domination and black domination, and cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society. It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” —Nelson Mandela, 20 April 1964 Today I visited the prison where Mandela was held until 1990. We were led in a tour... Continue Reading →

My Reading in January 2019

My January reading wrap-up includes fewer books than I would have liked, but that’s what happens when a new semester begins! I'm teaching three new courses, so preparing for those has been time consuming. Here are my five-word reviews of what I read in January. They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple: adulting is hard; cruelty... Continue Reading →

Dorothy Whipple’s They Were Sisters

I love reading Dorothy Whipple novels, and I wrote my Master's thesis on her book The Priory (1939), but for some reason, I didn't remember They Were Sisters (1945) even though I read it a few years ago. Rereading it was a pleasure, and it reminded me why I enjoy forgotten mid-century women's fiction. Luckily... Continue Reading →

What I Read in October 2018

Here’s what I read last month in five-word reviews. I did a lot of academic reading in October for an upcoming research trip to South African and Botswana.   Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne: cute poems for Pooh lovers This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga: after war woman wanders, falters Rubyfruit Jungle... Continue Reading →

What I Read in August 2018

Here is my August reading wrap-up in five-word "reviews." True Grit by Charles Portis: rare case movie was better Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: excess, snobbery almost ruin love The Last Man by Mary Shelley: lonely rambling epic of philosophy Friends and Relations by Elizabeth Bowen: dense prose describes English families The Quiet Side... Continue Reading →

What I Read in June & July 2018

I’ve been calling these my five-word reviews, but sometimes they are descriptive rather than evaluative. In fact, that is what happens most of the time; I guess these are really summaries. Anyway, here’s what I read in June and July!   June Idaho by Emily Ruskovich: murder and family don’t mix Stay with Me by... Continue Reading →

Read William Keepers Maxwell

“The older you get, the less courage you have.” —William Keepers Maxwell I am in love with Maxwell’s writing. They Came Like Swallows (1937) is a reread for me. (And many thanks to my good friend Toni for introducing me to this lovely novel.) So Long, See You Tomorrow (1979) is a new read for me.... Continue Reading →

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