Category Archives: Book Reviews

How Big is Big?

Expanding my world in 1966 and 2019 One thing I’ve realized as I’ve grown older is that I have yet to grow up. When I was a kid, 20 years old was a huge, far-off age. Twenty meant being grown … Continue reading

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Eleanor Wachtel in conversation with ex-Marine Elliot Ackerman about modern warfare and grief

Elliot Ackerman is a novelist and an ex-Marine who was an active duty officer for eight years, including five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also spent three years as a journalist in Syria, covering that country’s civil … Continue reading

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WordNerds: Making a big foofaraw about Lionel Shriver’s Property

Property: Stories Between Two Novellas A few days ago my better half, Keith, sent me a text containing the word “foofaraw.” Now Keith is not a professional wordsmith, but he’s got a good vocabulary and he’s always eager to learn … Continue reading

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The peacefulness of snow

Snow is wonderful if You don’t have to drive . . . . . . or have a vehicle equipped for battle. You are a skier. February 23, 2018 After successfully driving up the slight incline out of my apartment … Continue reading

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bill bissett’s banana peels and slipping into a Zen moment

Just another rainy morning Last week, the weather forecasts for Vancouver were lousy, predicting rain or heavy rain every day. On one of those mornings I resigned myself to doing an indoor workout at the rec centre, figuring if I … Continue reading

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Lisa Moore’s February: a perfect grip on the emotional truths of love, risk, and tragedy

  Sometimes I’m astounded by a writer’s talent and finesse, and that’s how I feel about Lisa Moore’s writing. She writes like no one else I’ve encountered. In particular, I noticed how she gets inside the minds of her characters; … Continue reading

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Book review of Essbaum’s Hausfrau: NOT a modern Anna Karenina story

A couple of weeks ago I found two books at my local library using one of my common techniques for choosing books—browsing randomly. These books were in a corner of the library set aside for a summer reading club. This … Continue reading

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Book review of My Struggle 2: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I’ve just finished reading A Man in Love, book 2 of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s 3,600-page, 6-volume autobiographic “novel,” My Struggle. This work was a sensation in Norway, where one in nine citizens has bought a copy. My Struggle has been … Continue reading

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Zadie Smith talks to Eleanor Wachtel about dance, Swing Time, and joy

I’m driving my car on the highway on a dark Vancouver evening between five and six o’clock. I have to concentrate on the road because the rain is pelting down. My wipers are going furiously and water has pooled in … Continue reading

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Books 2016: A year of strange characters, both fictional and “fictionalized”

This year I wished I had a blog that functioned as an online readers’ salon. I read many books, and though most of them were neither new nor at the forefront of literary discussions in Canada, they each deserved a … Continue reading

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