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 Riders

Every once in a while, I come across a book I find interesting enough to read even though it’s not on my general “to read” pile/list.  This is true about my recent read, Tim Winton‘s The Riders.  I’ve never heard of this book before – it’s not even mine.  I discovered it on a bookshelf…

The House of the Spirits

So, the latest book review I’ve been procrastinating on is Isabel Allende‘s (probably) most well-known novel, The House of the Spirits.  I finished this book about a week ago, so I figured it’s time to finally write some kind of passable review about it. The House of the Spirits isn’t hard to read; it’s engaging,…

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,” comprising intellectual young men and women enlightened during the years after World War I.  Hemingway was one of the “founding” members of the…

Hemingway in Love and War

When Ernest Hemingway was 19 years old, he signed up as a volunteer with the American Red Cross which was looking for ambulance drivers to send to the Italian front during World War I. Having just graduated from high school, it was his first time to travel abroad. He was hungry for adventure and eager…

A Farewell to Arms

On a whim, I read Ernest Hemingway‘s A Farewell to Arms a few weeks ago. I didn’t know much about it other than it was about some war – World War II, I thought. Before reading it, I was actually getting it confused with the 1996 movie In Love and War, starring Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell.…

Uprooted

Uprooted is a fantasy novel by Naomi Novik published in 2015.  Inspired by fairtytales and folklore, Uprooted tells the tale of a young woman, Agnieszka, from a valley surrounded by a dark and mysterious forest known simply as the Wood.  The Wood is home to many evil spirits and creatures ready to abduct, kill, or…

Undermajordomo Minor

Technically, the first book I read this year is Patrick DeWitt‘s new novel, Undermajordomo Minor.  I say “technically,” because though I finished reading it sometime in the second week of January, I actually started reading it during the last days of December. Undermajordomo Minor was released in 2015, four years after DeWitt’s hit novel The Sisters…

Far From the Madding Crowd

Before the name Everdene (spelled -deen) was popularized by a willful, bow-and-arrow-toting girl fighting against an oppressive government, it was the name of an equally strong, spirited, and independent young woman, Bathsheba Everdene, the heroine of Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From The Madding Crowd. Published anonymously in a monthly serial in 1874, Far From the…

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan was the Booker Prize winner for 2014.  It mainly follows the life of Dorrigo Evans, a boy from a small town in Australia, who grew up to become a doctor and soldier, and later suffered at the hands of the Japanese as a Prisoner of War during…