Category Archives: Novels and literature

Tell me why to finish that novel

(Second in the series, How to read literature like a thirsty linguist). At my old book club in California, we did alright for ourselves. We met once a month. We didn’t gossip. We actually discussed characters and plots. But we … Continue reading

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How to Read Literature Like a Thirsty Linguist (I)

I wanted to spice things up at book club. So I picked up (er, downloaded) a copy of How to Read Literature Like a Professor (2003). In it, Thomas C. Foster, a professor at the University of Michigan, Flint, gives … Continue reading

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Interview with Anna North, author of America Pacifica

“The trouble started when the woman with the shaking hands came to the apartment,” begins Anna North’s new novel, America Pacifica. Darcy, who answers the door, is an eighteen-year-old struggling to survive with her mother, Sarah, on a remote Pacific … Continue reading

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How to become a vampire

“There’s no literary term for the quality Twilight and Harry Potter (and The Lord of the Rings) share,” wrote Lev Grossman of Time magazine in 2008, “but you know it when you see it: their worlds have a freestanding internal … Continue reading

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The Pulitzer Prize for Hypertext

Each year, the Pulitzer Prize committee supposedly bestows an award for distinguished fiction that deals with American life. But to my mind, this year’s committee bestowed an award for distinguished hypertext that demonstrates why we must read fiction in the … Continue reading

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Book review: The Mind’s Eye, by Oliver Sacks

“I feel agitated now…I think I may have to sedate myself.” Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and well-known author, has just discovered a jet-black spot on the skin of his left shoulder. Two years earlier, a physician found a cancerous tumour … Continue reading

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A book-lover’s shortcut to learning more about Asperger’s

First, a confession. I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Second, a frustration. With the character of Lisbeth Salander, author Stieg Larsson apparently sought to create a grown-up version of Pippi Longstocking, the nine-year-old heroine of Astrid Lindgren’s books, … Continue reading

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