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Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (transl. Carol Brown Janeway) Lost in Translation

When I was a reviews editor I tried my best to make sure that translators were credited in the bibliographic information that accompanies reviews. It didn’t always work: sometimes space was tight and the sub-editors had to cut the copy but sometimes the fact that it was a translated work was not immediately apparent. Perhaps …

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The Measures Between Us by Ethan Hauser: An impressive, eloquently melancholy novel

After a disappointing start, it seems I’m back on a reading roll this month – What in God’s Name, Lamb, The Small Hours, The Last Banquet and now, Ethan Hauser’s The Measures Between Us, have all hit the spot. Set against the backdrop of a storm-hit small town just outside Boston, it opens with a …

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White Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby and The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood: Two Lip Smacking Novels

Purely coincidentally, I’ve been reading N. M. Kelby’s White Truffles in Winter about the last days of the celebrated chef Escoffier alongside Jonathan Grimwood’s The Last Banquet, set in pre-Revolutionary France. Both are about Frenchmen with a passion for food who love and admire women, both have recipes scattered through them and both men are …

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The Most Abandoned Books

This is not a post about lascivious, sensual reading matter: instead it’s the title of a list of books many readers have given up put together by Goodreads. Given my recent disappointments mentioned in Friday’s post I headed off to have a look and found many all too familiar titles – Moby Dick, Gravity’s Rainbow …

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Holiday reading ups and downs

Back from my Sussex hols the highlights of which were undoubtedly two gorgeous gardens – Great Dixter and Charleston Farmhouse – both the kind that look as if they’ve been causally thrown together although anyone who knows anything about gardening, and I know very little, understands that this kind of planting is the product of …

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Alice by Judith Hermann (transl. Margot Bettauer Dembo): Small but perfectly formed

I hope that all went well for the many booksellers working their socks off yesterday selling Dan Brown’s new novel but I can’t help feeling sad that so much depends upon a handful of authors to keep the book trade afloat. So many excellent books sink without trace or leave little impression. I haven’t read …

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A tip top reading month

I’m half-way through Jane Feaver’s An Inventory of Heaven, due out in paperback next month. It’s far from a bad book, although it does explore the rather well trodden territory of childhood and dark secrets, but I’ve been keeping company with Haruki Murakami and Kate Atkinson for most of this month and so perhaps have …

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