Country Driving—A Chinese Road Trip: Peter Hessler

Published by Cannongate and Harper Peter Hessler is an American journalist who speaks fluent Chinese and was The New Yorker’s correspondent in China from 2000 to 2007. While he was there, he got himself a Chinese driving licence and travelled through the country. Hessler applied for a Chinese driving licence in 2001. Acquiring the licence …

Continue reading Country Driving—A Chinese Road Trip: Peter Hessler

Investigating indexes: An Interview with Dennis Duncan

Dennis Duncan is a British writer, translator and lecturer. His book, Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure, was published in 2021. His other books include The Oulipo and Modern Thought and Theory of the Great Game: Writings from Le Grand Jeu. He also co-edited Book Parts, a collection of essays on the various …

Continue reading Investigating indexes: An Interview with Dennis Duncan

A Madness of Sunshine: Nalini Singh

Published by Gollancz “That was the town Anahera remembered, the town that had suffocated her, the town where there were no secrets—and far too many hidden things.” Anahera is from Golden Cove, a small town in New Zealand’s South Island. She left for the UK, became a well-known classical pianist and married a successful English …

Continue reading A Madness of Sunshine: Nalini Singh

The Selfless Act of Breathing: J.J. Bola

Published by Dialogue Books “I quit my job, I am taking my life savings—$9,021—and when it runs out, I am going to kill myself.” Michael Kabongo is a schoolteacher in London. He is going through severe depression and feels alone, disconnected, and unable to confide in anyone, even his closest friends. London is home, except …

Continue reading The Selfless Act of Breathing: J.J. Bola

The Overstory: Richard Powers

Published by Vintage “A man in the boreal north lies on his back on the cold ground at dawn. ... [T]he spruces pour out messages in media of their own invention. They speak through their needles, trunks, and roots. They record in their own bodies the history of every crisis they’ve lived through. The man...lies …

Continue reading The Overstory: Richard Powers

The Promise: Damon Galgut

Published by Chatto & Windus The Promise revolves around a white South African family—Manie and Rachel Swart and their children Astrid, Anton and Amor—and an unkept promise. Manie promises the dying Rachel that he will give their maid Salome the deeds to the house in which she lives. But once Rachel dies, he makes no …

Continue reading The Promise: Damon Galgut

My Life in Books

Photo: Vipman via Shutterstock This article was inspired by My Life in Middlemarch, a bibliomemoir by Rebecca Mead, which draws on her readings of George Eliot’s Middlemarch over the years. I loved the idea of writing memoirs that are intertwined with a book. But since there isn’t a book I reread regularly, I thought that …

Continue reading My Life in Books

My Life in Middlemarch: Rebecca Mead

Published by Broadway Books “Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like …

Continue reading My Life in Middlemarch: Rebecca Mead

The Best Books of 2021

Photo: Yulia Grigoryeva via Shutterstock It is already the end of 2021! The year has flown past. We haven’t been locked down quite as much as we were last year—we did manage to see friends and family—but Covid isn’t history yet, and no one is sure what the coming months will bring. As always, we …

Continue reading The Best Books of 2021

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: Cherie Jones

Published by Tinder Press / Headline / Little, Brown This is a powerful, gut-wrenching book set on Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, the kind of place you see advertised in tourist brochures, with coconut trees, sand and blue seas. Cherie Jones’s novel looks behind this perfect façade, revealing the lives of the people—especially the women—who actually live …

Continue reading How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: Cherie Jones