10 years ago

The strange story of the Sarajevo Hagadah

Take a look down the page at the map I copied from Amazon.com’s review of this outstanding historical novel, and you’ll get a sense of the extraordinary scope of the story. Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will carry you on the eloquence of her prose through the five-century journey throughout Southern Europe of the fabled Sarajevo […]

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10 years ago

A hilarious tale of Colonial America by two history professors

The “blindspot” of this delightful satirical novel of Colonial America was slavery — the ever-present reality underlying the colonists’ increasing distaste for domination by the British King. That blindspot figures in a prominent way in the unfolding of this humorous story. Blindspot by Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore @@@@ (4 out of 5) Couched in the […]

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10 years ago

Another hilarious novel from Donald E. Westlake

There are two prerequisites for reading and enjoying the Dortmunder novels by the amazingly prolific Donald Westlake: (1) you enjoy watching a fiendishly clever plot unfold, and (2) you love to laugh. In his 75 years — Westlake died on the last day of the year 2008 — Westlake wrote more than 100 novels and a […]

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10 years ago

India’s diversity under a microscope

Aravind Adiga is one of India’s most refreshing contributions to the world of books in recent years. His first novel, a wildly original story of near-mythic proportions, The White Tiger, won the UK’s prestigious Man Booker Prize. Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga @@@@ (4 out of 5) Between the Assassinations is a latticework of fourteen […]

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10 years ago

A superb historical novel about the opium trade by Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh reaffirms his place as one of contemporary India’s greatest writers with this extraordinarily rich tale of class conflict, exploitation, and forbidden love against the background of the opium trade. The story is set in 1838, shortly before the First Opium War in China which set the stage for mounting conflict in India, as […]

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