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Archive for the 'Keifus's Page' Category


Fiction by or for Women: Three Books Reviewed

I Don’t Know How She Does It, by Allison Pearson (A-)
No Place Like Home, by Barbara Samuel (B)
In A Lonely Place, by Dorothy Hughes (B+)
It always makes sense to expand your horizons, and this month (this month and then some–sorry) I thought I’d look at contemporary women authors. Not talking canonical stuff here, but […]


The Long View: Two Books on Natural History Reviewed

Earth: An Intimate History, by Richard Fortey
Punctuated Equilibrium, by Stephen Jay Gould
Here are two long discursions on natural history, reviewed for the local koraxophiles. They are more “books for buds”: I’d originally planned to read three or four non-fiction monsters in a row, but these took me a long enough as it was. […]


Two Classic Satires Reviewed

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathon Swift: B
Candide, by Voltaire: B+
Here are two classic satires, both good, both from the eighteenth century, and both inspired by two of my favorite bloggers, both of whom deserved better than my first drafts of these reviews. (You can find out more about my ‘project’ at my own blog, but […]


The New Mythology: Three Books Reviewed

The Iron Dragon’s Daughter by Michael Swanwick: A
The Story of the Stone by Barry Hughart: A
The King Must Die by Mary Renault: B
Here are three novels that satisfied, more or less, this month’s eagerness for re-imagined myths. The settings range from creepily realistic version of a human trapped in a fairy world to a […]


Doorways to Elsewhere: Four Books Reviewed

There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe: A+
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock: B+
Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay: B-
Ægypt by John Crowley: A
The aim of every storyteller, even those who purport to write non-fiction, is to transport the reader to another world. There’s a lot to be said about putting them together believably, and even the […]


Foodie Central: Three Books Reviewed

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: B
David Kamp, The United States of Arugula: B+
Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: B
Growing up, I lived, without grasping its significance, in a foodie’s paradise of local produce and meat and poultry, an abundance of natural goodness supplied by an ecological- and health-conscious family. Lately, I’ve been reminiscing on that, and […]


Bedtime Reading: Two Books for Children Reviewed

Oh, crap.
“Daddy, can I use the computer?”
“Not right now, sweetie. You need to do your homework. And I’m using it right this minute anyway.”
“Daddy, did you write your book report on The Wee Free Men yet?


Hidden Cloisters of the Academy: Two Books Reviewed

The Rebel Angels, by Robertson Davies: A
The Face in the Frost, by John Bellairs: B+

You have to love those Renaissance-era scholars. I mean they were just so cute. They had all the brains, but (saving Aristotle and his buds, a Roman or two, and a double handful of carefully ignored Arab luminaries) a […]


Gods and Animal Spirits, Man’s Place in the Pantheon: Four Books Reviewed

Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys (A)
Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume (B+)
Sean Stewart, The Night Watch (B+)
J. M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello (A)
Adam and Eve frolicked free and easy in the garden, knowing God, but not knowing what he knew. “Eat this fruit,” said Eve, “and we’ll be animals no more.” Gilgamesh took Enkidu aside, shaved his shaggy ass […]


Three for the Road: Maps for the Post-Apocalypse (Book Reviews)

Three highways through their own separate hells.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road: A
Paul Park, Celestis: B+
Roger Zelazny, Damnation Alley: C-
The atomic post-apocalypse, as a warning or as a story unto itself, originated roughly in September, 1945 and has been flogged so mercilessly since that time, it’s become a field of cliché so barren of fruit that authors […]

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