Tag Archives: literary fiction


It’s a testament to her skill as a writer that Byatt always excites such a vehement response from me, no matter what she’s writing. Actually, I still remember scenes from this book quite vividly. Reading this book was not about enjoyment—it means nothing to say that I liked or disliked the book—but about [...]


I still continue to have contradictory expectations of Asian-American authors. I have yet to come across one that has managed to say something new about the so-called “Asian-American experience” while still remaining meaningful to me. Although thinking more on this issue, I think I would have preferred it if Chang-rae Lee had written [...]


I don’t even know I’d call the book “ingenious” and “innovative” anymore. It’s certainly well-written though.
[The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen]
I’ve finished Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, which I concede is creative and ingenious and innovative, etc., etc., etc., but it was difficult to enjoy. I mean, considering that it’s about a midwestern American family, going [...]


I have no idea what I meant here, but I still remember enjoying this book.
[The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, by A.S. Byatt]
I read a collection of fairy tales by A.S. Byatt over the weekend, including The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, which I liked, even though one would think I had very little in [...]


The brilliance of Ishiguro: to take a flawed character who does terrible things not out of villainy but simple weakness and make him sympathetic. My generalizations about WWII are due to my world history and English teachers.
[The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro]
I finished The Remains of the Day, the Ishiguro book, and [...]


Needless to say, the unreliable narrator has become a much more familiar convention to me, but I still admire the way that Ishiguro explores the layers of self-deception we use to protect ourselves.
[When We Were Orphans, by Kazuo Ishiguro]
What’s cool and disturbing about Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans (another book, which I read during the [...]

Anne Bishop, Julian Barnes, Jo Walton

The Invisible Ring, by Anne Bishop: My level of tolerance for Anne Bishop’s prose (can you believe she actually makes a catchphrase out of “balls and sass”?) has decreased over the years, but The Invisible Ring still makes an indulgent and mindless read. I finished the book in a day, over three train rides. [...]


I didn’t understand feminism in high school and found it irritating. Much has changed since then, of course. It’s odd because despite my seemingly negative reaction to Byatt here, Possession won its place in my memory as one of my favorite books in contemporary literature. I also find my “critique” of contemporary [...]

Guy Gavriel Kay, Marisha Pessl, Luo Guanzhong (trans. Moss Roberts)

The perennial question: will I ever catch up on the year-long backlog? Who knows? But in the meanwhile, I’m attempting to prevent the backlog from increasing by updating with the books I’ve read in August.
The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay: About two years ago, Sai compiled a beautiful, haunting fan [...]

Umberto Eco (trans. William Weaver), J.K. Rowling, David Foster Wallace

I’ve been dragging my feet on posting here for nearly a year now because I haven’t had the time to face down the immense backlog of books, and I have this irrational compulsion to review books in chronological order. Sometimes I think my life would be a lot simpler if I weren’t so neurotic. [...]