The Sun Also Rises

Ernest Hemingway‘s The Sun Also Rises is one of his most well-known, and well-loved novels.  Published in 1926, it is said to depict the life, ideals, and frustrations of the “Lost Generation” – intellectual young men and women enlightened during the years after World War I.  Hemingway himself was one of the “founding” members of…

The Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage (O Diario Un Mago), Paulo Coelho‘s first official novel, published in 1987, describes his personal journey along the El Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James. In 1986, after failing his spiritual initiation as a Master of the Order of Regnus Agnus Mundi (RAM), Coelho loses confidence in himself and starts to question…

February Book Loot

February was a good month for book shopping; I bought 13 books, 3 of which I already read. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion – Yoshio Mishima Soul Mountain – Gao Xingjian The Children’s Book – A.S. Byatt Death with Interruptions – Jose Saramago The Known World – Edward P. Jones Death and the Flower…

The Comfort of Strangers

The Comfort of Strangers (1981) is a short novel by Ian McEwan about a couple on vacation in an unnamed city which fits the description of Venice, Italy. Mary and Colin are neither married, nor living together, but have known each other for some time, and are in a loving but strained relationship.  During their vacation,…

Hector and the Search for Happiness

First of all, let me start by saying that this is my 100th book review and 200th post in general (what?! I have an extra 100 posts on here that aren’t about books?!?)!  I never thought I’d make it this far. To celebrate, (coincidentally) here’s a review of a book about happiness.  Enjoy, and thanks for stopping…

Vish Puri: Confidentiality is His Watchword.

After reading a heavy-hitting novel like The Orphan Master’s Son, Tarquin Hall’s light and fun novel, The Case of the Missing Servant, is just what I was looking for. The Case of the Missing Servant (2009) is the first book in a series starring Vish Puri, India’s “most private investigator.”  The 51-year-old, rotund, Safari-suit-and-Sandown-hat-wearing, mustachioed…

Lost Horizon – The Origins of Shangri-La

Shangri-La is a mythical, lush, temperate valley hidden amidst a frozen mountain range somewhere in Tibet.   Its people, an easy-going group governed by a lamasery, believe that good is achieved by doing things in moderation. This famous fabled heaven-on-earth is the creation of British writer, James Hilton, in his 1933 novel, Lost Horizon. In Lost…