SHORT REVIEWS // Top travel reads for summer
“Encompassing tales of ghost planes and gremlins, the anthology is billed — with tongue presumably in cheek — as ‘ideal airplane reading, especially on stormy descents’.” Read more here.
EXTENDED REVIEW // N-W, by Zadie Smith
“At its heart, this is a novel about identity, about how we are shaped by our circumstances and by our choices. As Smith writes, it’s about becoming the ‘sole author’ of your life’s story – although happily the second-rate-self-help-book quality of that phrase belies the lightness of touch with which the theme is treated.” Read more here.
EXTENDED REVIEW // How to Pack, by Hitha Palepu
“Not to sound melodramatic, but the yawning maw of a half-filled suitcase has occasionally reminded me of nothing less than the gaping existential chasm that threatens to overwhelm us all. With zipper teeth and a T-shirt tongue, it asks not just how many pairs of underpants we’ll need for a week away, but who we are, who we want to be and how we’d like the rest of the world to see us — big questions, especially when you have a flight to catch.” Read more here.
SHORT REVIEW // The End of Procrastination, by Petr Ludwig and Adela Schicker
“You have to wonder whether reading a book about procrastination is destinated to become just another way of putting off the things you ought to get done.” Read more here (PDF).
AUTHOR INTERVIEW // Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton
“For the reader, the effect of the form is intricately beautiful and contributes to what the Booker judges described as the book’s ‘luminous, addictive’ quality. It also begs some intriguing questions about the novel form and the nature of storytelling itself.” Read more here (PDF).
LITERARY TRAVEL // Switzerland’s home of Heidi
“It would be easy to be sniffy about this Heidimania — my guidebook certainly is. You might say it’s a Swiss cliche or a slice of kitsch, or dismiss it as childish.” Read more here.
LITERARY TRAVEL // Singapore through writers’ eyes
“Opinion is split, but for me the most striking element of the discussion is the level of audience engagement. It’s a mixed crowd, ranging from schoolgirls in uniform to grey-haired gents, and audience members wade confidently into the debate, questioning and arguing back.” Read more here (PDF).