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 →

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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 →

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 →

City of Books

I am visiting Portland, Oregon, this week for an academic conference and to receive an award for my dissertation (yay!). Yesterday, I visited Powell's City of Books. It is amazing. It was my first time there! I can't believe I haven't been there before. Here are some scenes from this amazing 68,000 square foot bookstore.

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 →

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 Jerks

Did you know that many of the "great" male authors were also jerks? I learned this while reading a poignant piece on motherhood and art called "Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid" by Rufi Thorpe. It explores the price of both being an artist and being a mother and how women may or may not be able... Continue Reading →

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