Booker International Winners

I recently completed my collection of post-2016 Booker International winners: The Vegetarian – Han Kang A Horse Walks into a Bar – David Grossman Flights – Olga Tokarczuk Celestial Bodies – Jokha al-Harthi So far the one I’ve read is The Vegetarian, which, I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t love. Up next, A Horse Walks…

Less

Arthur Less is a nearly 50-year-old gay man and former partner of a Pulitzer prize-winning writer who travels the world to forget a past lover and avoid having to go to his wedding. Such is the story of Andrew Sean Greer’s 2018 Pulitzer prize-winning novel Less. A middle-aged writer who had (barely) attained his 15…

Boy, Snow, Bird

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyememi is a retelling of the classic fairytale Snow White. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, the novel tells a strange tale of beauty, envy, race, and genetics from the perspective of the main character, Boy, and later her daughter, Bird. Boy Novak is a white young woman from New…

Four Classical Novels of Chinese Literature

I’m just one book away from completing my collection of the Four Classical Novels of Chinese Literature.  The editions of the three of the four novels I have are not the best translations, but as I am not a scholar of Chinese or Asian literature or any kind of literature for that matter, I am…

The Nine Cloud Dream

The Nine Cloud Dream is a 17th century Korean novel attributed to Kim Man Jung about a young Buddhist monk from a sacred mountain who falls from grace by obsessing over earthly pleasures. One day, upon returning drunk from the kingdom of the Dragon King, the young monk Hsing-chen meets eight beautiful fairies barring his…

The Mirror and the Light

After more than 10 years, the third and final installment of Hilary Mantel’s twice Booker-winning trilogy about Thomas Cromwell has finally been published. The first and second books were only around three years apart (2009 and 2012), but it took Mantel eight years to finish the concluding novel, The Mirror and the Light, which continues…

Hotel du Lac

I don’t really know how I feel about this book, which is about a romance writer who stays at a Swiss hotel to escape a scandal. A short novel that is funny and intriguing at times but far from amazing and compelling. Surprisingly, Hotel du Lac won the Booker prize in 1984 (beating JG Ballard’s…

The Princess Bride

I can’t believe I waited this long to read The Princess Bride. I watched the movie hundreds of times as a kid, but William Goldman’s novel is funnier and more entertaining (if that’s even possible) than the film. I am sure most of you know what The Princess Bride is all about thanks to the…

The Box Man

This is the record of the box man. I am beginning this account in a box. A cardboard box that reaches just to my hips when I put it on over my head. That is to say, at this juncture the box man is me. A box man, in his box, is recording the chronicle…

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

The novel of 2019 Nobel Prize winner for Literature Olga Tokarczuk describes the life of eccentric recluse, Janina (a name that she hates), in a small remote village in Poland, which is home to only a few residents.  The novel starts with the untimely death of Janina’s neighbor, whom she refers to as Bigfoot. Janina…