Tag: essay

A review of Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin

Axiomatic is a gorgeous, difficult and extraordinary book that demands deep engagement from the reader. Tumarkin’s humility, dark humour, scholarship, and above all, the empathy with which she connects her own experience to that of her subjects and ultimately to that of the reader creates a tapestry that is moving, powerful, and important. This is a book that seeps under the skin, changing perception.  It’s vital reading.

A review of Bone Chalk by Jim Reese

Whether serious or silly, Reese’s prose reads like poetry. He says more in a paragraph than most authors achieve over several pages. The final chapters are the shortest and most personal vignettes featuring his wife, daughters and co-workers.  Reese finds the profound in everyday, parochial life in Bone Chalk.

A review of The Wrong Dog by David Elliot Cohen

Part Marley and Me, part Bucket List, part travel memoir, Cohen’s book tells the story of Simba, a larger-than-life Labrador retriever whose physical size is matched only by his love of people. Cohen’s wife, Laureen, was technically Simba’s owner (he was bought by her first husband), but as is the case with blended families, when Cohen and Laureen married, their five children and the dog quickly became a cohesive unit.

A review of M Train by Patti Smith

Smith would have us believe that is a book about nothing. She opens it with a phrase from a dream that haunts her: “It’s not so easy writing about nothing.” Those of us who recognise her intense grief, and the determination to capture these experiences in poetic prose, will disagree that this is a book about nothing. Perhaps it’s a book where “nothing” happens: it becomes something.

A review of Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small, edited by Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories that Kept Us Small is a powerful nonfiction anthology by 27 professional women who share their real stories (and use their real names) to inspire others to become unafraid of the shadows that haunt their lives, and to shed the feelings that promise them they will never be good enough for the kind of life they want or ought to have.

A review of Now What: A Philosophy of Freedom and Equality by Michael Lydon

The book is entirely empirical, encouraging readers to conduct regular and direct (that is, immediately experiential) experiments in order to prove the tenets, and then to live by its dictates. Because the book is almost childlike in its optimism, inclusiveness and warmth, it functions as a kind of self-help guide to living an authentic and happy life

A review of Fit, Fifty, and Fired Up by Nigel Marsh

That so many men (and some women) live lives of servitude and never stop to think about who they are or what they might want to really achieve in the short space that we have is a modern tragedy. Marsh gently and humorously makes this obvious, and in the changes he’s created in his own life, sets a trend that others can easily follow.