‘Everything’s going backward’ [book review]

A review of Bewilderment by Richard Powers ‘Moving’ is the word I have most often seen describing Richard Powers’s new novel, Bewilderment. The reviewers and blurb writers aren’t wrong: any novel about a widowed father trying to help his fragile son negotiate the horrors of the world we humans have created is – unless somethingContinue reading ‘Everything’s going backward’ [book review]

‘Always happy to introduce another psychoactive plant’ [book review]

A review of This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan Midway through the second chapter of Michael Pollan’s This Is Your Mind On Plants, I was struck by a sudden thought. ‘Perhaps,’ I mused, ‘I should be drinking more coffee.’ That this was startling is putting it mildly, but the thing was, he’dContinue reading ‘Always happy to introduce another psychoactive plant’ [book review]

‘There is no moment too small in the world’ [book review]

A review of Finding the Mother Tree: Uncovering the Wisdom and Intelligence of the Forest by Suzanne Simard I have previously mentioned The Overstory as a novel that made a big impression on me. While its literary merits can no doubt be debated, it was its content – the message, if you like – thatContinue reading ‘There is no moment too small in the world’ [book review]

‘All we have, and all we are’ [book review]

A review of Tapestries of Life: Uncovering the Lifesaving Secrets of the Natural World by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, translated from the Norwegian by Lucy Moffatt ‘Nature is all we have, and all we are,’ writes Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson in Tapestries of Life, her second book to be translated into English by Lucy Moffatt following the extremely successfulContinue reading ‘All we have, and all we are’ [book review]

‘We will need to learn to let go’ [book review]

A review of We Are The Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer At the end of my month of reading about the environment came this, the book I didn’t know I needed. In a couple of hundred pages and some very well-chosen words, Jonathan Safran Foer has managed to do what no other writer or journalistContinue reading ‘We will need to learn to let go’ [book review]

‘An anger to swallow the world’ [book review]

A review of Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy A couple of years ago I read Richard Powers’ The Overstory, and I have never looked at a tree the same way since. A similar sleight of hand is achieved by Charlotte McConaghy in Migrations, a searing and highly accomplished debut novel that takes on the problem ofContinue reading ‘An anger to swallow the world’ [book review]

‘A Pepsi and a bag of animal crackers’ [book review]

A review of Wars of the Interior by Joseph Zárate, translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott ‘A map is not an innocent drawing: it contains a political message,’ writes Joseph Zárate in Wars of the Interior, a highly charged and brave investigation of the under-reported conflicts playing out in the heartlands of Peru. TheContinue reading ‘A Pepsi and a bag of animal crackers’ [book review]

‘Is the government not humans like us?’ [book review]

A review of How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue There is a question put by one of the main characters – a child – in Imbolo Mbue’s How Beautiful We Were:‘how would I have known that rivers were not ordinarily covered with oil and toxic waste?’ It is perhaps the central question of thisContinue reading ‘Is the government not humans like us?’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: April 2021

It’s April, the sun is shining, and many more books are making their way on to my shelves. This is mainly the fault of the International Booker Prize, the longlist for which was released a couple of days ago (if you missed it, you’ll find all the titles here). While I was pleased to seeContinue reading The Monthly Booking: April 2021

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