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…

Hemingway in Love and War

When Ernest Hemingway was 19 years old, he signed up as a volunteer with the American Red Cross which were 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 decided to 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…

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 that’s 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,…

Undermajordomo Minor

Technically, my first book of the year is Patrick DeWitt‘s new novel, Undermajordomo Minor.  I say “technically,” because though I finished reading it sometime in the 2nd week of January, I actually started reading it during the last days of December. Undermajordomo Minor was released in 2015, 4 years after DeWitt’s hit novel, The Sisters Brothers,…

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 already 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 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…

Tales of Moonlight and Rain

According to Japanese folklore, ghosts, spirits, and supernatural creatures appear on rainy days or  at dawn when the moon is still bright, which explains the title of Ugetsu Monogatari, or Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Ueda Akinari, published in 1776, a collection of 9 short stories about ghosts, demons, ghouls, and the supernatural.  Since being published, Ugetsu Monogatari has…

The End of The Affair

Over the weekend I successfully finished listening to The End of the Affair – my first ever audio book.  The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene, was published in 1951.  The audio book I listened to was narrated by distinguished British actor Colin Firth. Told from the 1st person perspective of a writer, The End…

The Remains of the Day

You would think a novel about stuffy old butlers and housekeeper of “great” houses in England would be written by the likes of Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters in the 1800’s, but The Remains of the Day, which is primarily about a butler’s life and memories, is written by Japanese-born British author, Kazuo Ishiguro, in 1989.  On…