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

Book fan, Barack Obama

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them (Joseph Brodsky) Regardless of your political views, our former president, Barack Obama, was a phenomenal book fan. How he found time for his passion baffles me, given the pressing demands on his time as president of the United States. And I admire the books he’s read and recommended, among them classics like Doris … Continue reading Book fan, Barack Obama

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

Before Surgery Reading: Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small

I’ve always loved animals. I can’t say where it comes from, but maybe it’s in the genes. Both my nieces exhibit the same trait. Currently, I’ve been reading James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small. If you’re old enough, you may have seen the BBC rendition back in the late 70s and into the 80s, ninety episodes in all. It’s good reading for me, given … Continue reading Before Surgery Reading: Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small

On finding a new booklist quarry

I confess I’m addicted to booklists. No sooner do I finish one book, but I’m into another. What surprises me is that I can’t remember anyone in my family serving as a role model when I was a child, either reading to me or picking-up a book for themselves, with the exception of the late intervention of my eldest brother, David, recently discharged from the … Continue reading On finding a new booklist quarry

My Best Reads for 2015

My thirst for good reads continued in 2015, and among them, two stand out for special praise in providing me with pleasure, insight, and continuing reflection. (I’ve reviewed both more fully elsewhere in Brimmings.) Fiction:   John Williams. Stoner (New York Review of Books Classics) My choice is probably subliminal and inevitable, as not since David Copperfield have I identified with a fictional character so fully … Continue reading My Best Reads for 2015

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