Category: 20 Books of Summer

No 472 In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders Book 18 of #20booksofsummer20

I am a big fan of George Saunders’ short stories, having really enjoyed Tenth of December and Civilwarland in Bad Decline. In Persuasion Nation is another thematically linked collection which explores a world, somewhat like our own, where consumerism and advertising have taken over and individuality is being crushed in favour of conformity. Split into…

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No 474 The Prince of West End Avenue by Alan Isler Book 14 of #20booksofsummer20

Set in a Jewish retirement home in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1978, The Prince of West End Avenue is a haunting yet often hilarious novel that follows Otto Korner, an Auschwitz survivor who is directing his fellow retirees in a retirement-home production of Hamlet. Despite their age, the staging of the play features all…

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No 476 Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music & Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro Book 12 of #20booksofsummer20

In ‘Cellists’, the final, and the best story in Nocturnes, an American woman pretends to be a world-famous cellist and tutors a talented young Hungarian in her hotel room in an unnamed Italian city.  Under her tutelage, his playing soars – both technically and emotionally – but he soon realises that she cannot play the…

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Val Penny's Book Reviews

By Crooked Cat author, Val Penny

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a hot cup of pleasure

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A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. – Italo Calvino

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