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Book Review: The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

If someone mentions South America and Nazis, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the seemingly ubiquitous idea of Nazis escaping there after the war. While the concept has at least a few kernels of truth, it ignores or pushes aside events that swept up Latin America during the war.

South American writers, though, recognize […]

Reading challenge flops on the horizon

It looks like my reading challenge efforts are more than a little weak this year. If you take a gander at the list of them to the right, there’s two I’ve done nothing toward. And the others aren’t get much better.

In one — a challenge I came up with — I’ve only read one […]

Bookish challenges for next year

There’s a few things I’m going to embark on for next year from both a personal and blog standpoint. One is reading challenges and the other deals with book reviews.

I joined four reading challenges in 2009, two of which I completed by the middle of the year. I completed the third August 1 and […]

Midyear Reading Challenge report

As a follow up to this week’s Musing Mondays, I figured this would be a good time to check on how I’m doing on the reading challenges I adopted for the year. So far, more than so good. I’m actually one book shy of completing all three. Here’s the tally so far:

Notable Books Challenge […]

Book Review: Breath by Tim Winton

You could summarize Tim Winton’s Breath by saying it’s a novel about a two Australian teenagers who perfect their surfing skills under the tutelage of a reclusive mentor. Of course, that would be like saying Fight Club is a novel about young men in an illicit fighting club.

Breath may be built around surfing […]

Book Review: A Free Life by Ha Jin

Some contend that the term literary fiction is so overused and broad, it now amounts to little more than a name for a recent genre. And if you’re an illiterati like me, you might consider literary fiction to be like pornography — I can’t define it but “I know it when I see it.” Applying […]