Category: Books I Like

On Admiration and Almosts: A Review of Abraham Verghese’s “Cutting for Stone”

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese My rating: 3 of 5 stars After reading such an impressive debut novel, I’ve decided that my star rating and a book’s technical quality live in separate universes. Technically, Verghese’s knowledge blows me away–to be able to weave his fine historical research about Italians in Ethiopia, culture, nationalism, and … Read More »

“The Edge of the World” hits close to home: Review of Gail Vida Hamburg’s political novel in stories

The Edge of the World by Gail, Vida Hamburg My rating: 4 of 5 stars I finished this slender book last weekend after having met the author at the San Miguel Writers Conference. Through a series of brilliantly political, interconnected short stories, the novel is a tragic epitaph for a fictional Southeast Asian island nation … Read More »

Who’s Controlling YOUR Internet?: A Review of the Book You Don’t Know You Need to Read

Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World by Jack L. Goldsmith My rating: 4 of 5 stars Written accessibly by a Harvard law professor and one from Columbia, this is the kind of “new history” that should probably, soon, become an essential part of our standard education about the world. It explains how … Read More »

Absolut God: A review of Capek’s timeless satire

The Absolute at Large by Karel Čapek My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Absolute at Large is a deft, straightforward, drily laugh-out-loud satire on spiritualism. When a frazzled inventor accidentally invents a nuclear power engine that offgasses God, a.k.a., the Absolute, he begs his old friend and industry baron to buy the machine and … Read More »

Heather Sharfeddin’s DAMAGED GOODS, review for The Oregonian

Heather Sharfeddin’s fourth novel, “Damaged Goods,” tells the nimble and compact story of an auctioneer who comes to understand the meaning of “priceless.” Three months after a traumatic brain injury, Hershel Swift struggles to remember everything from basic words to how he once ran his business. His old self is an alien personality whom everyone … Read More »