Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Human Stain

By Philip Roth

This must be the most ironic book I've ever read. Well written and down-right engaging and thought provoking. It shows how easily people can get carried away by random accusations, and how easily lives can change because of these accusations. It reminded me of an incident that happened last year, or maybe the year before, about a distinguished professor who was accused of being a sexist because of a joke he told at some conference. This escalated so quickly, and in no time he was forced to resign. The plot of the book takes place in the 1990s, before the rise of Facebook and Twitter, and the events don't spread as far and wide as the more recent event I mentioned, but the similarities are quite disconcerting. [384 pp.]

Link to book

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Hen That Dreamed She Could Fly

By Sun-Mi Hwang

A beautiful little book about an egg-laying hen who wishes to escape her cramped quarters and raise a chick. Through perseverance and opportunity she manages to do that. This book is not only well-written (kudos to translator Chi-Young Kim), but also esthetically pleasing with its beautiful illustrations by Nomoco. [144 pp.]

Link to book.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Way To Go

By Tom Ryan

A coming-of-age while coming-out-of-the-closet book. The story describes teenage friendships and other relationships in a very believable way. Overall, a nice book. I think I had a bit of trouble with some of the writing, but since I finished this book some time ago, I can't give specifics. In any case, it wasn't anything major. [224 pp.]

Link to Book

The Pig Comes to Dinner

By Joseph Caldwell

This is the second book of the Pig Trilogy. I read the first one a while back and enjoyed it a lot, so I was happy to find the second in the library. The pig who brought so much change to the lives of the humans he interacted with, continues to let his spirit cast warmth and hope on the people and ghosts around him. Like the first one, this book is also written splendidly with wit and humor. It truly is a fun read. Looking forward to the third one, though, again, this book can definitely stand on its own. [255 pp.]

Link to book

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Glyph

By Percival Everett

Another great book by a great author. I can't claim to have undersood everything in this book, but the parts I did understand were very amusing. It is told by a 4-year old who could read and write like a very intelligent adult since he was very young, and because of that he got into much trouble. Because of his father's occupation, there's a lot of semiotic material in this book, which was interesting to me especially because I had just taken a semiotics class. [208 pp.]

Link to book.

Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding

I am not going to write much about this book. I took it with me on my trip, and forgot to report it here until now, more than three months after reading it. I remember it was fairly amusing, and a good book to read while traveling. I think my favorite parts were the exaggerated calorie counts. [300 pp.]

Link to book


Living Hope (Hebrew)

By Yannets Levi

I read this book during the first few weeks of my first quarter in art/design school, so it took me much longer than usual to finish it. But I think part of the reason it took me so long was the language in which it was written. I usually read Hebrew faster than I do English, but this book was written in an almost archaic Hebrew, though it only came out last year. It felt a bit weird. The story itself is told in an unusual way, also. It is told in a way that makes it obvious to see its biographical aspects. In a way, it is a biography.
Illness and death and the relationships between the healthy and the ill play a central role here. It is not an easy book to read, but certainly an interesting one. [Hebrew, 398 pp.]

Link to book in Hebrew.