Category: Books

Ketman

People who are out of step with the prevailing authority practice ketman to avoid trouble. Ketman is a way to dissemble. At a minimum people practicing ketman must self-censor their speech. When silence isn’t enough, ketman-practitioners find ways to appear to actively support the regime. When ketman-practitioners cannot escape the oppressive regime, they develop ways…

Thomas Crow

Thomas Crow is an American art historian. For a short time, his interests overlapped with mine, which is how I became aware of him. Some readers might know that I am a fan of the French artist J.L David. Early in his career, Crow wrote a book focused on David and his circle, Emulation: Making…

Grumpy book review: 1177 B.C.

The book’s complete title is 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed. The book addresses the mysterious collapse of the Iron Age civilization. The author, Eric Cline, claims that recent findings prompted him to update his book that was originally published in 2014. I am reviewing the Audible version. If you’re asking “What is the Iron…

Grumpy review: Kindles

I’ve used my Kindle Oasis for several years and thought I’d share my impressions with you. Let’s start with the negatives. Cons Goodreads. Amazon embeds Goodreads in the Kindle. You cannot turn it off, even if you do not have or want a Goodreads account. I almost returned my Kindle when I discovered this ‘feature.’…

Review: Killing Commendatore

I became familiar with the Japanese author Haruki Murakami during my current fiction-gorging phase. How could I have been unfamiliar with such a gifted author? It’s not an excuse but I go through long periods during which I don’t read fiction. Murakami’s style is first-person intimate heightened with surrealism; all of it served very imaginatively.…

Review: Of Human Bondage

Maugham

I’ve had this experience a lot lately. Maybe you have too. You reread a book that you once admired only to discover that it doesn’t resemble in the least what you remember about it. When I originally read Somerset Maugham‘s Of Human Bondage, I thrilled at Maugham’s description of Bohemian Paris where we follow the…