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The Ambassadors
3.65
it was amazing
A Perched Privacy

I finish reading this novel feeling exalted and cowed by what a man may accomplish in a work of fiction. Human relationships, so vari
...more
Nov 23, 2008
Nov 23, 2008
 
The Portable Nietzsche
4.19
it was amazing
Just finished reading "Thus Spoke Zarathustra," this weird hybrid of philosophy, biography, myth and poetry. The cross-breeding (or -bleeding) of genr ...more
Aug 19, 2009
Aug 19, 2009
 
Ministry of Moral Panic
4.24
really liked it
There is a deftness of touch, a sureness of intent, a knowingness of accomplishment that makes it hard to believe that Ministry of Moral Panic is Aman ...more
Aug 19, 2014
Aug 24, 2014
 
What to Listen for in Music (Revised Edition)
3.95
really liked it
A basic and helpful introduction to music for someone like me, i.e., no music training beyond playing the pianica in primary school, and strumming the ...more
Oct 03, 2009
Oct 05, 2009
 
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
4.46
liked it
A biography of the artist as a hero, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is full of swagger even as it pays tribute to its comics predecessors. The virt ...more
Nov 16, 2015
Nov 16, 2015
 
Virginia Woolf
4.24
it was amazing
Hermione Lee's Woolf is a major Modernist who in conscious reaction against Victorian society and in artistic competition with other modern writers (K ...more
Aug 23, 2011
Aug 24, 2011
 
The Game of Boxes: Poems
3.72
did not like it
Of Catherine Barnett's James Laughlin Award-winning book, April Bernard, one of the three judges, wrote, "With subtle and cumulative force, The Games ...more
May 23, 2013
May 27, 2013
 
Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings
4.51
really liked it
Finally finished reading Shahnameh today, the Persian Book of Kings, translated by Dick Davis. Arranged like a royal chronicle, the book falls into tw ...more
Nov 26, 2010
Nov 26, 2010
 
Du Fu: A Life in Poetry
4.26
it was amazing
Like all the other Chinese scholars of his time, Du Fu aspired to serve the court in the country's vast bureaucracy. He was passed over again and agai ...more
Jun 27, 2010
Jul 08, 2010
 
The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost
4.21
really liked it
The Best Poems of the English Language? Who could resist opening an anthology so named to see what's in it? Especially when it has the name of Harold ...more
Mar 18, 2013
Mar 18, 2013
 
The Queen of the Night
3.48
it was amazing
How many literary epics are also page-turners? The Queen of the Night is one of the very few. Intricate plotting, unforgettable characters, marvelous ...more
Feb 15, 2016
Feb 16, 2016
 
The Fall
4.05
it was amazing
After reading "The Myth of Sisyphus," I went on to read Camus's three novels one after another. The Stranger is deliberately provocative. The Plague g ...more
Jan 23, 2015
Jan 24, 2015
 
Song of Solomon
4.00
it was ok
**spoiler alert** I was some way into the novel before I realized that it is, basically, a Bildungsroman. It charts the growth into maturity of Macon ...more
Jul 19, 2010
Jul 20, 2010
 
Between Stations
4.19
really liked it
I knew from his poetry that Boey is a restless traveler, but I did not know how restless until I read his recently published collection of essays Betw ...more
Feb 15, 2010
Feb 16, 2010
 
The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art
4.16
really liked it
In this work of philosophy, Danto wishes to define art, and to show why contemporary art, having attained self-consciousness, is asking the same quest ...more
Nov 26, 2013
Nov 26, 2013
 
The Art of Struggle
3.61
really liked it
I vaguely heard of Michel Houellebecq before stumbling on his book of poems in the Labyrinth Bookshop. I did not know that he wrote poems, as well as ...more
Apr 2013
May 10, 2013
 
3 Sections
3.68
it was amazing
Vijay Seshadri's third collection, and it's well worth waiting for. The book is marvelous, constantly surprising. I enjoyed again the lacerating "Memo ...more
Nov 10, 2013
Nov 11, 2013
 
Faithful and Virtuous Night
4.00
really liked it
I deeply admire Glück's refusal to repeat herself. This new volume works with long poems (the title poem is 10 pages long, and gripping), prose poems, ...more
Jun 15, 2016
Jun 25, 2016
 
Biographia Literaria: Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life & Opinions
3.94
it was amazing
An absorbing read as Coleridge seeks a philosophical foundation for his aesthetics. He mounts a convincing defense of Wordsworth's poetic genius and a ...more
Sep 05, 2015
Sep 05, 2015
 
The Best of It: New and Selected Poems
4.09
really liked it
Smart, inventive, observant, the poems of Kay Ryan are a genuine delight. The lesser poems in this New and Selected are the fallouts of her strengths. ...more
Jun 13, 2016
Jun 25, 2016
 
Unpeopled Eden
4.29
it was amazing
One of the best books of poetry that I've read this year. It possesses a great unity of effect, of a leisurely concentration. The poems give the sense ...more
Jun 24, 2015
Jun 24, 2015
 
Digest
3.95
really liked it
Intellectually challenging, the volume gives no quarter to the reader not up to scratch on Western philosophy, African American history, and popular c ...more
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 25, 2016
 
The Refugees
4.00
really liked it
SW lent me this collection of short stories before we heard Nguyen read at 92Y last Thursday. I had read his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathi ...more
Mar 18, 2017
Mar 20, 2017
 
Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume One
3.35
liked it
Uneven collection. The stand-outs are stories by Dave Chua, Ng Yi-Sheng, Jeremy Tiang, and Alfian Sa'at.
Sep 08, 2015
Sep 09, 2015
 
Time Ages in a Hurry
3.44
it was amazing
I am grateful to translators Martha Cooley and Antonio Romani for introducing me to the short fiction of Antonio Tabucchi. Time Ages in a Hurry collec ...more
Apr 14, 2015
Apr 14, 2015
 
The Ascent of Man
4.19
really liked it
Based on the BBC television series of the same name, The Ascent of Man charts the development of human civilization through the lens of scientific pro ...more
Jul 04, 2009
Jul 04, 2009
 
Henry James, the Master: 1901-1916
4.47
it was amazing
Last night I finished reading the fifth, and final, volume of Leon Edel's biography of Henry James. I started reading Volume One in December, and now ...more
Mar 18, 2009
Mar 19, 2009
 
Selected Poems
4.19
really liked it
The Play of the Universe

From a deep appreciation of the varied imperfections of earth, Tagore's poems yearn for the single, perfect ineffable. The nar
...more
Aug 16, 2008
Jul 22, 2008
 
Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
4.03
really liked it
Written with a full appreciation of Roosevelt's accomplishments and a frank understanding of his flaws, Traitor to His Class is an engrossing read. Th ...more
Mar 25, 2014
Mar 25, 2014
 
Close Calls With Nonsense: Reading New Poetry
4.09
it was amazing
Over the New Year weekend, spent on the bus and in the Woodstock home of D and T, who kindly took in a pair of holiday orphans, I read Close Calls wit ...more
Jan 02, 2011
Jan 02, 2011
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