Amélie Nothomb: Ni d’Ève Ni d’Adam (Tokyo Fiancée)

The latest addition to my website is Amélie Nothomb‘s Ni d’Ève Ni d’Adam (Tokyo Fiancée), another quirky novel from the Belgian author. This one, like many of her other books, is about one of her visits to Japan and the main theme is Western-Japanese cultural differences. As the English title indicates, she meets a Japanese … Read more

Cezar Petrescu: Întunecare (Gathering Clouds)

The latest addition to my website is Cezar Petrescu‘s Cezar Petrescu: Întunecare (Gathering Clouds), another early twentieth century Romanian novel. This one was originally three volumes but, sadly, only the first volume has been translated into English so this review only covers that first volume. It is set in the First World War. Romania initially … Read more

Emyr Humphreys: The Little Kingdom

The latest addition to my website is Emyr Humphreys‘ The Little Kingdom. Wales has not fared as well as, for example, Scotland, in recognition of its literature in recent years, despite a thriving Welsh-language publishing industry with some of its output translated into English. Humphreys is still alive at the time of writing, almost ninety-four, … Read more

François Mauriac

The latest addition to my website is François Mauriac‘s Le Baiser au lépreux (A Kiss for the Leper). I first read Mauriac many, many years ago. Indeed, Le Mystère Frontenac (The Frontenac Mystery) is the first adult novel I read in French. Mauriac is a Catholic writer and it is his Catholicism that informs his … Read more


The latest addition to my website is Hamid Ismailov‘s Железная Дорога (Railway), a novel from Uzbekistan. Ismailov actually lives in London and works for the BBC, having left Uzbekistan in 1992. This novel is a series of interconnected stories around the fictitious Uzbek town of Gilas and is similar in form to Fazil Iskander‘s Сандро … Read more

Amazon issues – used books

It has been widely reported that Amazon has been granted a patent for selling used ebooks. While the idea is interesting it has, as some commentators have noted, raised a few issues. 1. Publishers have not really liked ebooks and have never really liked the uses book market. They are really not going to like … Read more

Amazon issues

Amazon is not doing well in the British press, because it is evading UK tax by claiming that it is a Luxembourg company. The Luxembourg office employs 134 people while the UK operations employ 2265 people but it still only pays tax to Luxembourg. Obviously, most of Amazon UK’s customers are based in the UK, … Read more