Sally Rooney: Up to the Hype?

I took up reading Irish literary sensation Sally Rooney to find out what the fuss was all about. After all, she’s only twenty-eight and has written two novels that have rocked the literary world, Conversations with Friends (2017) and Normal People (2018), dubbing her the gatekeeper of the millennial generation. Saying you’ve read Rooney is the new chic. Where does such youthful sagacity come from, … Continue reading Sally Rooney: Up to the Hype?

Review: Paul Collier, Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

Not long ago, Hillary Clinton controversially summed up Britain’s Brexit morass as essentially about immigration: “Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/22/hillary-clinton-europe-must-curb-immigration-stop-populists-trump-brexit A way of saying that only then can Europe tame the groundswell of white, nativist resentment that has given rise to Donald Trump and Britain’s now confirmed exit from the European Union, January 31, … Continue reading Review: Paul Collier, Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

Elegy for Iris: A Review

“We can only learn to love by loving.” —Iris Murdoch I’ve just read John Bayley’s Elegy for Iris, his moving memoir of his wife, renowned British novelist Iris Murdoch—26 novels in addition to nonfiction—who succumbed to Alzheimer’s in 1999 at 79. How does something like this happen? We’re told that we may ward off Alzheimer’s scourge by exercising our brains via mental pursuits like puzzles, … Continue reading Elegy for Iris: A Review

On Reading Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch

All of us have a favorite book we wouldn’t mind reading again. For me, it’s David Copperfield, simply because I identify with much of what happens in it. The same holds true for Rebecca Mead in her bibliomemoir, My Life in Middlemarch, which explores Eliot’s masterpiece as a personal game changer. I’ve always liked Eliot immensely as well (see Brimmings, 8/17/16), especially for her bottom … Continue reading On Reading Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch

Oliver Sacks: Medicine’s Laureate

I find every patient I see, everywhere, vividly alive, interesting and rewarding; I have never seen a patient who didn’t teach me something new.  Or stir in me new feelings and new trains of thought. –Oliver Sacks I’ve just finished Oliver Sack’s recently published autobiography, On the Move: a Life. Better, I devoured it. Medicine has always interested me, and I read a lot of … Continue reading Oliver Sacks: Medicine’s Laureate

Reflections on Boyd’s Any Human Heart: Elegant Solemnity

Have just finished William Boyd’s riveting novel, Any Human Heart, nearly 500 pages long.  You may remember it had appeared on PBS as an award-winning three part adaptation.  That’s what led me to the novel, the fictional playback of the posthumous journals of Logan Mountstuart, novelist and free lance journalist, whose life of eight and half decades virtually bookends the previous century.  Though a fictional … Continue reading Reflections on Boyd’s Any Human Heart: Elegant Solemnity