Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Walter Olson on Peter Ackroyd’s Foundation: The History of England From Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors: “The minting of coins, the establishment of laws governing ancient forests, the maintenance of local roads, the development of cursive script all interest Ackroyd, as do the dining habits of lords and peasants and the travels of the mendicant friars who “turned English preaching into a folk art.”” (NYTimes)

Kelly Falconer on Chi Zijian’s The Last Quarter of the Moon: “…
an atmospheric modern folk-tale, the saga of the Evenki clan of Inner Mongolia – nomadic reindeer herders whose traditional life alongside the Argun river endured unchanged for centuries, only to be driven almost to extinction during the political upheavals of the 20th century.” (Financial Times)

Sean Singer on Tanya Larkin’s My Scarlet Ways: “…a refreshing synthesis of lyric and narrative poetic modes in an expressive and intellectually rigorous way.” (The Rumpus)

Melinda Bargreen on Erica Bauermeister’s The Lost Art of Mixing: “Many of the novel’s epiphanies take place over food, while characters are making chowder, braising endive, or biting into a tortilla chip.” (Seattle Times)

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