Category Archives: Book reviews

“The Bialy Eaters” by Mimi Sheraton

This short, amusing book describes attempts by the author (a former NY Times food critic) to work out the history of the bialy.  Much of the book consists of light, pleasant tales of her meetings and interviews with expatriates from … Continue reading

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“Moonglow” by Michael Chabon

Chabon plays heavily with the boundary between novel and memoir (for starters, the narrator is a novelist named “Michael Chabon”), jumping back and forth to various points in his grandfather’s life (as a Jewish boy in Philadelphia, a soldier in … Continue reading

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“The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri

This novel takes the Maoist insurrection in northeastern India as its motivating force; a student revolutionary is killed by police, and his death dominates the lives of his parents, brother, and widow.  Most of the story takes place in the … Continue reading

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“1066 and all that” by W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman

Since I was near the site of the Battle of Hastings, I decided to read up on British history.  1066 and all that is parody, playing on a particular Anglo-centric view of the universe, but you actually have to know … Continue reading

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“Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman

This book was a loan from a friend (and former HRSFA member) upon finding out that I was going to England for the first time.  I would call it a pretty standard genre novel: easy to read, basically enjoyable, but … Continue reading

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“The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard Feynman

This book is a collection of short pieces by Feynman, including a number that were speeches or transcripts of interviews.  I thought there were several very interesting pieces, a bunch of repetition between different bits, and some odd choices about … Continue reading

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“The Family Markowitz” by Allegra Goodman

This  story of several generations of the Markowitz family was a very good read — touching and funny, and more “real” than some of the David Lodge novels I was reading earlier.  (I do not think that this is because … Continue reading

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