book reviews

The Life and Times of Geoffrey Chaucer

Here are ten things I learned about the eminent English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, from reading Paul Strohm’s “Chaucer’s Tale” that I didn’t get from reading the “Canterbury Tales” years ago: Chaucer lived during a very politically dangerous time in English… Continue Reading →

Arnaldur Indridason’s “The Shadow Killer” – Reykjavik during the War

I like Indridason’s latest crime series for what it says about Iceland during the Second World War. Until now his stories, involving the exciting exploits of Inspectors Erlunder and Sigurdur, cover a modern country as it grapples with bigtime crime,… Continue Reading →

Gleanings from some great books

So what is Malcomson up to reading this Christmas? Remember, he is the right-wing moderate who is retired with so much time on his hands that if he didn’t have a book to turn to, he would drive his dear… Continue Reading →

Not Sure Who the Hero Really Is?

Not a bad first effort at producing a fast-paced wartime tale about life inside a Nazi concentration camp. Keith has obviously done her homework in trying to recreate the tumultuous background necessary for appreciating this wartime drama. Life in Holland,… Continue Reading →

Even Capone Wasn’t This Bad!

This true life crime biography is definitely a major improvement on the twins version of events in “Reg and Ron Kray: Our Story”. While this autobiography is full of glorifying braggadocio and self-serving inaccuracies, Pearson’s “Profession of Violence” is a… Continue Reading →

Hallgrimur Helgason’s “Woman at 1000 Degrees” – An Icelandic Superwoman”

Every so often an author comes along to overturn the tables on a nation’s culture by attacking and cutting the very legs out from under it. Writer and visual artist Helgason does a savage number on the male-dominant, misogynistic Icelandic… Continue Reading →

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s “Spring”: Living through a family crisis

Many of us have been there and come through sadder but wiser for the experience. Mine happened years ago, before I was married, and involved my parents’ ongoing marital battles. The amazing thing about this seventeen year bout of familial… Continue Reading →

Alec Ryrie’s “Protestants” – Lurching From One Crisis to the Next

The history of modern Protestantism presented here is one of moving in any number of directions in search of the ideal form of Christian worship and livelihood. Five hundred years of struggling to find that elusive religious identity that both… Continue Reading →

Alana Mitchell’s “Spinning Magnet” – A World Upside Down

After reading this book on the seismic wonders of the earth’s magnetic field, I got to thinking, perhaps, that its continual shifting and re-orienting, in relation to the north and south poles, might help explain a number of current natural… Continue Reading →

Greg Dawson’s “Judgment Before Nuremberg”

As a prominent American journalist, Dawson undertook, over a decade ago, to research the Ukrainian Holocaust of 1941-43 out of a deep need to understand what a Jewish mother’s family had to endure as Nazi Germany attempted to destroy their… Continue Reading →

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