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Category Archives: Reviews

“The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East”

Once again, dear reader, I’m going to send you over to my other electronic outpost Intentionally Entertaining, in order to share another book review cum memoir cum recipe. On essentially the first page of Dracula, Jonathan Harker enjoys a local Carpathian dish called paprika hendl. In the lavishly annotated Dracula from 1975 pictured above, Leonard […]

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say”

Over at Intentionally Entertaining, I’ve put up a review/editorial about the brilliant Italo Calvino‘s story Under the Jaguar Sun—once again warping the boundaries of what either blog is supposed to exist for. Food and art and books intersect at so many interesting junctions that it seems natural to me to always be talking about all […]

Review: The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett My rating: 4 of 5 stars Reading a book like The Maltese Falcon is a little challenging for me. I’ve seen the beloved second film version many times since I was a child—it was also the first movie I watched in the first film studies class I ever took—so […]

“…a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody”

For those who missed it, I recently posted a review of two retro cookbooks over on the other blog I share with my wife Michelle: Intentionally Entertaining. Cooking has long been a passion of mine—as I’ve mentioned previously in this space—and the new blog has been a great way for me to drone on about […]

“Some say we’ll see armageddon soon”

I’d like to turn your attention for a moment to heavy metal music. Aside from a few friends and family, I’m unclear about who is out there reading this blog, but I’m now picturing monocles popping out of eyes and a needle scratching across Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations.* It’s supposed to be a book blog after all. […]

Review: Food and Trembling

Food and Trembling by Jonah Campbell My rating: 4 of 5 stars Last week I stumbled upon some highlights of Jonah Campbell‘s recently launched book Food & Trembling, based on his excellent blog, in an article at the Toronto AV Club. I was so taken by the excerpts that I went out that night to […]

Review: On Stranger Tides

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers My rating: 4 of 5 stars On Stranger Tides is one of the most purely fun books I’ve ever read. Published in 1987, it’s difficult, in hindsight, not to imagine On Stranger Tides being an unacknowledged inspiration for the entire Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise—despite Disney having only […]

Review: Carmilla

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve spent some time now staring at my screen wondering what to rate this book. The four stars I’ve given it seem excessive for a book this slight, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Does Goodreads require a new system with half-stars or am […]

Review: The Dylan Dog Case Files

The Dylan Dog Case Files by Tiziano Sclavi My rating: 3 of 5 stars When Umberto Eco says something like “I can read the Bible, Homer or Dylan Dog for several days without being bored.” I can’t resist picking up the comic book in question. This is how I found myself reading an Italian horror […]

Review: The Strain

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro My rating: 3 of 5 stars Wholly unoriginal, but such a deft pastiche of various sources—Dracula, Salem’s Lot, Del Toro’s own Blade II and others—that The Strain stands out in the crowded vampire-book market. The prose is a little clunky in spots, which I suspect has to do with […]