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Maven Books

Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction.  Miscellaneous book things.

Currently reading

Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf
Democracy: An American Novel
Henry Adams
Too Far Afield
Günter Grass, Krishna Winston
Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body
Sara Pascoe
Progress: 45/328 pages

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko - Min Jin Lee

The book starts off so wonderfully, drawing you in and making you want to see more of the Kim family.  Unfortunately, the lovely writing and intriguing storyline didn't last very long, and started to wane after about 200 pages.  The writing style changed so much that it became a pain to read, and all the skipping ahead and lack of character development really became tiring.  I really hoped it would improve and tried to keep going, but it just wasn't worth it, so I quit.  Very disappointing after such a strong start.

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

The Patriots: A Novel - Sana Krasikov

It seemed to be off to a good start, but it declined so quickly and so much. All the telling and not showing was extremely tedious, and the characters felt so flat and interchangeable. Not to mention the switching between past and present -- this style of historical fiction needs to go away! -- especially with the modern bits being so dull and not fitting in style at all.

"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life."

W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You

The Need to Read

Stagnant and dull, can digital books ever replace print?

"Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring. What comes next?"

We Are Reading Less Literature

Pile of books

 

(Not me!)

The Fate of Gender by Frank Browning

The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future - Frank Browning

Quite a mess of a book. It jumped all over the place without any coherent structure. The content seemed to involve anything even slightly related to sex, gender, or sexuality, with sex and gender often confused for one another. Very light on science and facts (though it claimed to be), mostly random interviews and anecdotes that only sometimes connected to one another.

24 Most Controversial Books of All Time

Why Libraries Are Everywhere in the Czech Republic

The library at the Strahov monastery in Prague.

Hans Fallada novel, Nightmare in Berlin, gets first English translation

Hans Fallada

Life Is "Triggering." The Best Literature Should Be, Too.

"A few Columbia students want warnings on Ovid. What's next? Here's what Literature Fascism would look like."

Does Literary Criticism Have a Grade Inflation Problem?

Lit Hub's new ratings site exposes the flaws in the wider culture.

 

People browsing in bookstore

Why It’s Preferable to Read David Sedaris on Paper

"New research suggests whether information is presented electronically or on paper affects the way we process it."

 

Bookshelf

 

"Repairing the book of youth" (all in Japanese, totally enjoyable)

Reblogged from BrokenTune :

Sorry, technophiles: 92% of students prefer books to e-readers

"In a new study conducted by American University linguistics professor Naomi Baron, researchers have found that an overwhelming majority of students prefer physical books — you know, with covers and paper — over e-books for serious reading."