The Sellout

The internet makes it all too easy to go hunting for the information that will make sense of a book or an author, and I am resolved not to do that. At least, not till I have finished this review. From that position of self-imposed ignorance, The Sellout is a brilliantly funny and cutting satire on race in America. Nothing is safe, noone immune, no taboo out of bounds. Sex, music, drugs, intellectualism, passivity, crime. ...
Read on ...

H is for Hawk

What a wonderful book. When it first came out and got lots of praise I stupidly decided that it was not for me, possibly because the praise tended to focus on lyrical nature writing and that is not something I enjoy. However, my friend Nicola Davies was adamant that I give it a shot. I did, and was entranced from the word go.
Read on ...
I enjoy Dave Eggers' writing a lot, and this was no exception. He has a deft way of filling in the back story that I admire, and his treatment of the two young children seems to me absolutely accurate, poignant and touching and funny. The adventures that these heroes get into are many and varied and give a definite impression of how life just carries one along, given half a chance. Highly enjoyable.
Read on ...
Really excellent guide to changes in cuisine through history, and the forces that drove them. A useful antidote to the rose-tinted myth that the cooking of times gone by was so much better than the food we have now. Some people have described the book as too dry; I disagree. It is scholarly and informative, rather than the once-over-lightly so common in so many "factual" works.
Read on ...