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What I read

Charles Dickens’s Bleak House.

Tom All Alone’s. A London slum.(Image source: https://www.adctheatre.com/whats-on/play/bleak-house/) Spoiler-free thematic analysis. NOTE: external links do contain spoilers, so clicking discretion advised. Don’t let the name – or the dour look of the BBC adaptation fool you.  Like all Dickens’s work, Bleak House sparkles with humour, action, wit, tenderness, a spectrum of characters and settings well-individuated […]

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What I read

What I Read – A selection from Aesop’s Fables

The Fox and the Stork: One bad turn deserves another. Aesop’s Fables offer conflicting advice on whether avenging yourself — or even noticing an enemy — is worthwhile.(Image Source: https://storyrack.in/stories/the-fox-and-the-crane.html) At 90 mostly half-filled pages, Aesop’s Fables is a quick postlunch read.  I read it that way – it’s highly bingeable.  Short snappy tales.  Many […]

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What I read

The Ancestor’s Tale Offers a Fascinating Journey Back to our Roots

[Image: the front cover of the 2nd. edn.] The Ancestor’s Tale (2nd ed.) (2016).  Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong.  Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Great Britain. The subject of Richard Dawkins’s popular-science books has always been ambitious: life itself.  The Ancestor’s Tale is an even more ambitious entry in his oeuvre.  It dives into the findings, challenges, […]

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What I read

Reading: Short stories from Gasher, Flash Fiction Magazine, Fearsome Critters…

(Image Credit: https://home.bt.com/lifestyle/travel/world-travel/4-places-to-visit-if-youre-into-witches-11364280932915) Stories from magazines where my writing has been published or is forthcoming.  I began submitting to magazines just a few months ago, and it’s tempting to view a magazine as Don Juan viewed a woman: Veni, vidi, vici.  I’ve been moving towards a less egoistic approach – reading not just magazines where […]

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What I read

Reading: Halfway through Dickens’s masterpiece *Bleak House*

Image Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bleak-House I’m about halfway through Dickens’s Bleak House.  This is a partial review, written as a comparison of Bleak House to Dickens’s body of work. Bleak House (1852) was the ninth of Dickens’s fifteen novels, counting the unfinished Edwin Drood.  In several respects, Bleak House is a very Dickensian novel:  Littered with characters.  […]

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What I read

Reading: A volume of Ivan Bunin’s short stories

Mostly *Bleak House*.  Will review that when I finish.  Meanwhile, a review of some of Ivan Bunin’s short stories.  This collection is called *In A Far Distant Land*.  I’ve read and admired several Russian writers.  The usual suspects.  Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev, Chekhov; and my favourite, Dostoevsky.  This is my first encounter with Bunin (1870-1953).  The […]

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What I read

Reading: short stories from Electric Lit and *Everything Change Climate Fiction*

(Image Source: http://www.cocosse-journal.org/2017/06/bookmark-gentleman-from-san-francisco.html) What I Read: Mostly short stories from Electric Literature, and Everything Change Climate Fiction Volume II.  Began reading a volume of short stories, and a novel. Rachel Harrison’s matter-of-fact magic-realist story addresses overdone themes: thwarted love, beauty, #revengebody, and the toxicity and intimacy of female friendship.  As such, “I bought this Goblin […]

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What I read

Reading: Short Stories from Granta, the Sun, and *Everything Change Climate Fiction*

Image Credit: https://www.desertusa.com/animals/jack-rabbit.html Short stories from *The Sun* and other magazines; and a few stories from Vol. II of *Everything Change Climate Fiction.* The latter are beautiful, but depressing — as is fitting. I cheered myself up by rereading one of Dickens’s box-of-chocolate books of sketches. Highly recommend this pick-me-up. Samanta Schweblin’s “Birds in the […]

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What I read

Reading: Short Stories from The Atlantic and The North American Review

Image Credit: https://www.desertusa.com/animals/jack-rabbit.html Short stories from Granta, The Atlantic, and North American Review. Note: To read the stories in North American Review, you need to log in to JStor. Worth the effort. This is North America’s oldest extant literary magazine. 1. Caoilinn Hughes’s “Prime” is an evocative group portrait of loss and healing. Children on […]

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What I read

Reading: Short stories from Electric Literature and Fabula Argentea

Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/440930619744165186/ Mostly short stories from a few magazines: especially *Electric Lit* and *Fabula Argentea*. Some stories I particularly enjoyed: Peter Kispert’s “In the palm of his hand” is an urbane story of ambition, vanity, self-centredness, and moral emptiness. Only when the narrator falls does he experience any urge to connect with another person.https://electricliterature.com/in-the-palm-of-his-hand-peter-kispert/ […]