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Book Review by Jim Scott | Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane
Perhaps your magnum opus is your chicken liver rigatoni with cippolini onions and sage celebrated by your dinner guests. Then share the table with “chef” Macfarlane, a master in non-fiction nature writing. His meal, Underland, is a sumptuous dish of claustrophobia broiled slowly with a peripatetic discussion of deep thoughts while journeying into the bowels of the earth. He and his companion (the reader, in true Aristotelian fashion) will stare into the face “of deep time…the chronology of the underland…the dizzying expanses of Earth history that stretches away from the present moment…measured in units that humble the human instant…kept by stone, ice, seabed sediments and the drift of tectonic plates.” Continue Reading ...
Book Suggestion by Angella Meanix, Bookseller
If you're looking for a long-drawn-out book with lots of complicated characters and convoluted storylines, don't read this book.
Turbulence by David Szalay was a great read. It’s a book of short stories that took me on a journey of brief escapades. I love that I didn’t have to get too involved or keep too much track, rather I enjoyed little insights - moments, decisions, and actions. Each character's life felt brief and transient mirroring the structure of the book itself; boarding flights, Uber rides and layovers. I still felt connected to each of them and wondered how things would turn out though. I was completely absorbed.
I am a fan of short stories. Not all ideas have a full 300 pages in them. This type of book is great for a quick escape. Curled up on the couch, the stories played out around me. The Fall season coming on, a cup of tea and a blanket seemed particularly conducive to the delicate relationships in these tidy chapters.
Excerpt: GRU to YYZ: The next morning she had to lose the pilot before she could leave. He was still in her bed. Asleep. "Hey", she said, "Hey, I have to go." He opened his eyes (light blue). There was reddish stubble on his big jaw. He looked around still not sure where he was. Outside the last rain of the São Paulo summer was falling audible in occasional plinks and tinks on the window. "What time is it?", he finally asked propping himself up. "Almost eleven", she told him, "I have to leave in ten minutes".
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
A book review by Mike Wall, Bookseller
Within the criminal elements of any tyranny, a functionary is secretly taking
names, compiling documents, recording stories, preparing “destroying angels” for
the right time to release everything to maximum effect, in short, to begin or to
accelerate the destruction of that tyranny. The Testaments is a story of vengeance
patiently gathered and vengeance taken on the regime by one who helped execute
some of its worst orders.
As a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, we learn more about how Gilead works and
are also given snapshots of histories we must imaginatively construct; for example,
how the Mayday Resistance launched attacks upon the government “from the
Missouri Hill Country …, from Utah, the Republic of Texas…, most parts of the
This is a hopeful book. It demonstrates that tyrannies cannot last. Their corruptions
and cruelties, which are as inherent as DNA, will not only create resistance but
will also degrade their very ability to rule. Thus, The Testaments could not come
to us at a better time.