Have you ever been in the situation where someone whose taste in books you respect and generally agree with recommends a book that you have seen from time to time and you’ve always thought it looked just “Meh” and then you finally read War Dances which is by the same author and it’s amazing and funny and sad and you think, why didn’t I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, like, three years ago? No? Is that just me?
Have you ever found a photograph - a photograph of complete strangers? Maybe in a used book or at a flea market? Not a photograph of anyone you know or anybody famous or of a place you’ve ever heard of. Just somebody else's ordinary, precious personal photo. Working at a used bookstore I found a number of photos tucked into books over the years. There's one on my fridge. There used to be one tucked into the edge of my mirror. There’s one that I brought home and put in a frame.
It’s hard to know where to start talking about a book like 2666. That’s partly because, in some ways, it’s actually five books. Published posthumously, the book begins with “A Note from the Author’s Heirs” explaining that, before his death, Bolano stipulated the book be published as five separate works. Instead, his friends and family opted to publish Bolano’s novel as he originally would have – as one single volume divided into five parts. Ultimately the five parts belong together. They shar...
I read Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God on the recommendation of a philosophical friend and before I had finished it I was adding Keller’s The Prodigal God to my list of books to read. Keller has a gift for succinct and wise writing. I believe he truly has his finger on where society currently is spiritually, and where it might be going. In The Reason for God, Keller says that our society is both more spiritual and more secular than it has ever been. The book is a great look at the Christi...
I love books. I've loved books before I could even read them. I remember spending any free moments poring over the pictures, trying to pick out the words. I can recall the first triumphant moments when words began to make sense to me. I grew up in a house filled with books and with parents who read me The Hobbit, Little House in the Big Woods, The Chronicles of Narnia and so many others. I brought stacks home from the library, browsed through my dad's office shelves, used up the batteries in ...
I loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay for so many reasons. For its fantastical sense of adventure, set against the real world action and tragedy of the Jews in Europe during World War Two. I loved the opening chapters of Josef in Prague – a city I spent several months in a few years ago and one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Reading scenes set in Prague and descriptions of places I’ve seen made the story that much more personal for me.
This book surprised me. I read it for 2 reasons. 1) It seemed like one of those decently famous books that I should probably have read.
The Power of One is one of those books that I really should have read years ago. I’ve certainly meant to read it for a long time so this was a satisfying title to cross off my list. It’s stunning that this was Bryce Courtenay’s first novel. I look forward to reading his others because if this is where he started, he’s a talented writer.
Since the invention of the printing press, books have been a dominant and iconic paradigm in our culture and throughout the world. During my years in elementary and high school, the digital world was on the rise sparking the conversation: Are Books Obsolete. Over the last year (or 2 at the most) that the term "Book" has started to make the shift from a physical object to the concept of a written work.
“Of a generation who remembers Tiananmen Square, 1989, I considered how some excuse – the lack of, or slow progress on, human rights in China because ‘times have changed’, or because other concerns, including making money, come first, or because rights, freedom, and democracy are somehow different issues there than in the West.” Denise Chong