The Old Man and the Sea review

“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is” It’s such a simple story — a man trying to catch fish — written without much fanfare. Few adverbs and I doubt there is a single metaphor in this book. But how we […]

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Artful review

I started reading this with my full attention but it just wavered — to the point, I was skimming over the last pages because I lost interest and wanted to get to the end. Ali Smith’s writing style is loose and goes all over the place. Weaving and fusing and referencing texts and books and […]

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The White Book Review

The relationship between the author and reader is a bit of that of a parent and a child, a teacher and student, a falconer and a falcon. Make it too easy, plain, pedantic — and the reader switches off. Make it too difficult or abstract, and the same happens. It’s on the middle ground that […]

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Factory Girls review

At the surface, this book tells about what the lives of poor factory workers are like — millions of them — but at a deeper level, Factory Girls explains so much of China’s migrant culture, which is present in so many Chinese people. From high to no education, young Chinese people leave their hometown to […]

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Life after life review

It took me in between hundred to two-hundred pages to get into this book, and even after that, the pace of ‘Life after life’ comes and goes. Some pages are so full of Ursula stepping over carefully described objects or through carefully decorated rooms. The high-level English is an obstacle for me, and Atkinson’s writing […]

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No Rules Rules review

I was a bit afraid to start a non-fiction book again, and after the great introduction this book is also slow to pick up the pace. I was asking myself “Why do I read non-fiction books again?” They’re usually blog posts stretched to 250 pages. But No Rules Rules picks up the pace quickly and […]

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Hackers & Painters review

The book started unexpectedly well, blending programming, art, and history. Paul Graham’s writing style is really pleasant: in an almost childish way he looks at things from the most basic way, and then extrapolates that to either a bigger picture or the future (usually both). Each page is full of dialectic paragraphs, which is a […]

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy review

Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is Alice in Wonderland in space. I initially felt the form was getting in the way of function, with a lot of storylines on their own, but halfway through the book they did get together and so got my interest in it. A lot happens and it becomes […]

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Educated review

I expect an inspiring story about lifting yourself from ignorance and the poverty that brings, through education in all its form. But I did not expect the richness in which Tara Westover wrote it. She’s great at noticing things felt, rather than seen — and wraps them in flowing poetic sentences. She’s vulnerable, damaged, yet […]

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Planet china

Lost on Planet China review

J. Maarten Troost disguises as a travel writer, but underneath that thin veneer of well-composed sentence structures and impressively large vocabulary hides a pessimist, racist, and otherwise deplorable person. It doesn’t take long before Troost remarks about smog, noise, phlegm, and pee — observations that are repeated every chapter. And then the SARS and eating-dog […]

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