There are books that we stumble upon, some that we choose, and others that seem to have chosen us. Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See falls into the latter category, for me. Everything about it made it irresistible: its title, its beautiful cover image of the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, and the promise of the story itself― an orphaned German boy, a blind French girl, the Nazi Occupation of France, a legendary jewel named The Sea of Flames, the science of radio waves and signal triangulation, the writings of Darwin and Jules Verne, all coming together against the … Continue reading ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE


I finished reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch several weeks ago, but didn’t want to write to you about it right away. I wanted to step away from it for a while, and decide how to proceed next. At 771 pages, and having won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Goldfinch will likely stand as Tartt’s magnum opus, and be the subject of dozens and dozens of incisive, insightful reviews. I don’t know the latter fact for sure, because I’ve avoided reading a single one. I’ve seen the name Dickens attached to the novel, and I’m not surprised, but I … Continue reading THE GOLDFINCH


Note to readers: This piece was first posted last March 5th (2014).  I’m bringing it back this week in honour of Remembrance Day. Sadly of course, its themes: war and its aftermath, memory and trauma, continue to mar the lives of far too many across the world. I’ve also added some new links, which you’ll find included below.  Last month, I heard American journalist David Finkel interviewed on Q.  I was so lucky to catch the show. I’m usually at work at that time. Finkel’s 2009 book, The Good Soldiers, was an account of his time spent embedded with … Continue reading THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE