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Shadows on the Tundra: A Lithuanian Tale of Gulag Survival

The story of how Shadows on the Tundra came into existence is almost as amazing as the book itself. As a 14-year-old girl, Dalia Grinkeviciute is deported with her family from Lithuania to a Siberian labour camp. Seven years later, in 1949,…

It’s Just a Few Bad Apples

Welcome to another of my occasional rants about the use and misuse of the English language. Previous entries have included people who talk about their bandwidth and the irritating habit…

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

I’ve written before about my frustrations with the limitations of many crime novels. I found it refreshing, therefore, to read An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire, an Australian crime novel…

The Social Life of DNA

We all know about the physical properties of DNA and its contributions to medical and scientific research. But what interests sociologist Alondra Nelson is the social life of DNA.

The Truth About Amritsar

Why did British troops massacre hundreds of Indian civilians at Amritsar in 1919? This book explores the whole shocking story.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler: Review

In Digging to America, Tyler charts the course of two mismatched families, the hale and hearty, all-American Donaldsons and the quieter, more reticent Iranian-American Yazdans. All they have in common…

Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen

Five chapters. Five narrators. Five different experiences of being young Greenlanders trying to navigate the complex territory of gender and sexual identity. That's the basic setup of Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen, a compelling novel first written and published in Greenlandic…

June 2021 Reading Roundup

In my last reading roundup, I was still emerging from winter. Now, it’s been 30+ degrees for weeks, and I can barely remember what a cloud looks like. The storks…

Nightshade by Annalena McAfee

If you need your fictional characters to be likeable, to be the sort of people that you can "root for", then absolutely do NOT read Nightshade by Annalena McAfee. If,…