• In English,  Literary Fiction

    Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags by Iain Maloney

    Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags by Iain Maloney is a sobering and thoughtful book. In particular, in late-2021, the pandemic setting feels almost too close to home. The pandemic has been a lot – for all of us. The losses we have individually and collectively experienced are immeasurable. It will likely be years before we are able to come to terms with what has, and is still happening. As Cormac so eloquently says on page two, “Life is elsewhere. I am elsewhere. But this year death is everywhere. Death is here.” Yet the story is about more than the pandemic. In Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags, many other themes are…

  • In English,  Mystery

    The Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Keigo Higashino

    The Miracles of the Namiya General Store is a special book. Keigo Higashino is a prolific author, but most of his works aren’t published in English. Of the books that are most are mysteries. However, The Miracles of the Namiya General Store is something else entirely. Published by Yen On and translated by Sam Bett, this book is of a genre that is hard to place. It is a coming-of-age/mystery/fantasy kind of situation. One could even argue for magical realism. The variety of themes and wide genre is exactly what makes the book compelling for many types of readers. The Miracles of the Namiya General Store covers a lot of…

  • In English,  Literary Fiction

    The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

    The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is an outstanding, but haunting book. It’s part of a category of book that many people feel is worn out and overused, stories of people in and escaping war. Yet it manages to stand out in the crowd. Unlike many of such stories, it is not by a specific person’s life. It is also not a Holocaust story. Instead, as the title suggests, this story focuses on the civil war in Syria. The civil war in Syria continues to rage on. Refugees continue to flood into neighbouring countries and across the oceans. As these people are welcomed into new homes, part of the…