Category News

A Scenic Drive Through My Favorite Books of 2017

I’ve been away from this blog for a while, but I want to get it rolling again and start off 2018 right. And what better way to do that than by sharing my personal top picks from books I’ve read in 2017? I read a lot of translated literature, so to avoid confusion, I’ve cut the […]


Lit Bitters: Watering-hole Roundup for #WITMonth

As of today, it’s still Women in Translation Month! Yes, I know, there are months named for everything and often no one knows why they exist. But I can point you towards this one’s origins. It was founded by Meytal Radzinski, a book blogger who started collecting data on translated books and found that there were significantly […]

Lit Bitters: A Bookish Digestif for Your Week

This week, Twitter has been twittering about author Alexander Chee’s Tin House essay on his personal experiences with gin, which is now available to read online. (Ultimate takeaway: Negronis rule.) Verso Books is currently having a quite incredible 90% off all ebooks sale, which ends up working out to around $1 per ebook. Their ebooks are […]

Yiyun Li’s Story of Giving Up Her Mother Tongue Evokes the Value of the Personal

Language. Culture. Origins. These concepts are known quantities. They’re obvious as money, healthy as kale. Aren’t they? In our pseudo-psychological society, outright rejecting any of the concepts above may be seen as evidence of a lack of self-acceptance or as grounds for pity. The vague and largely unexamined public value placed on these concepts is […]

What Does Kakutani’s Hitler-Trump Buzz Say About Book Reviews in General?

So. There’s already been quite a to-do surrounding Michiko Kakutani’s so-called thinly-veiled attack on Trump in her recent New York Times review of historian Volker Ullrich’s Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.  While her review definitely gives a nod to the significance of Ullrich’s work and delves quite thoroughly into parts of it, her examination of the book comes […]

New Huge Paul Auster Novel Coming in 4 3 2 1…

Whatever your opinion of Paul Auster, he’s an interesting guy. His translations, his autobiographical writings (like the endearingly funny Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure) and his novels (including The New York Trilogy, a surrealistic take on noir thrillers) all offer different pieces of what may not even be a single puzzle. While I […]