Book Review: Antonio Skármeta, I Dreamt The Snow Was Burning

A story of a Chilean footballer going off on his own for the first time, obsessed with losing his virginity, and lacking the social graces to do so, set in a tense time before the Revolution. Surrealistic with lots of heavy experimental writing with streams of consciousness drifting in one long paragraph among characters and other surrealistic styles.

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Book Review: Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Roy’s first book of fiction in twenty years, since the Booker prize winning <i>The God of Small Things</i>, this novel did not disappoint. A critique of modern India, Roy covers everything from the treatment of hijras to the rabid nationalism that is taking over the country in effective, beautiful prose. I couldn’t wait to read this book while at the same time didn’t want it to end. A masterful piece of work.

Book Review: Arundhati Roy, The End of Imagination

A timely compilation of five of Arundhati Roy’s books of essays with a new introduction by Roy. Parts I and II focus on power politics in India; Part III on the rise of neoliberalism in the United States following September 11th. I’d read many of these essays when they were first published, but in the tumultuous aftermath of the takeover of the global stage by Donald T***p I find they are just as relevant now as then, even prophetic. An important book for everyone: activists, community organizers, and those just looking for a bit of hope in their struggle to survive modern imperialism including a blatantly corrupt Indian government and US domination of the world.

Book Review: Emma Donoghue, Frog Music

A historical mystery based on the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet in San Francisco in 1876. Fast moving and well written, I especially loved the afterward that delved briefly into the lives of the real people these characters are based on, and how Donoghue tried to keep faithful to what really happened, while acknowledging that because of journalist’s tendency to fabricate at times, it’s still a fiction. Also contains a description of the songs Blanche la danseuse sings throughout the novel and a French Glossary of Terms.

Book Review: Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

Rebecca Solnit’s books are a light in the darkness as she tirelessly demonstrates in essay after essay that small actions do work, that positive change is happening, and that everyday ways of living and being can be profound. Covering everything from the Arab Spring and Zapatista revolutions to the BP oil spill and climate change, these are important essays, when reminders that “the true revolutionary needs to be as patient as a snail” seem especially relevant.