I enjoyed Sally Gardner’s I, Coriander (winner of Nestle Smarties Gold Award in 2005), a children’s novel set in London during the Puritan Commonwealth, an interesting blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and a little bit of romance. Her next novel, The Red Necklace, came out a couple of years later, and I got myself a copy, and then, typical of me, forgot about it until I dug it out of my TBR inventory during Holy Week.
I took it with me during our company outing to Bohol last month, and because the flight was delayed, I managed to finish it before our plane landed.
Continue reading “The Red Necklace”
I enjoy trivia of all sorts, so when a friend loaned me his copy of E.H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, I gladly dove into many hours of fascinating reading.
A Little History of the World is a compact volume that tells us the story of mankind, from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb. Told as stories, it’s simple enough for young readers to understand without getting the feeling of being patronized, and entertaining enough for adults who have already gone through years of history classes.
Gombrich, an art historian (you may recognize the name from the book The Story of Art), wrote this book in 1935 with the intention of presenting a history of the world for younger readers. The book was actually originally written in German, was banned by the Nazis for being too “pacifist,” and was only translated in English by Gombrich himself (mostly, reportedly, but the book credits his assistant Caroline Mustill as the translator) towards the end of his life (he died in 2001, at 92, still working on it).
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I like good, strong voices in fiction. I like characters that ring true, make a distinct impression, and keep me engaged in the story.
In the past week, I read The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley. These two novels each offered a unique point of view: one from the outside looking in, and the other from inside looking out.
Continue reading “Hearing Voices”