Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte Boulay’

Shop Talk |

An old dog reads ebooks

In my early 30s, I don’t think of myself as old very often. Except sometimes when I’m on the train or at a park and I see everyone (everyone!) who looks to be about my age or younger, and sometimes people a bit older than me, too, texting like the wind. I’m a super slow texter. Even with my fancy new smart phone, I don’t see myself getting faster any time soon. I guess texting is okay, but I still like to actually talk to people most of the time Am I just not willing to work at it? Or […]


Shop Talk |

Book blog recommendations

I love getting recommendations for blogs about reading. I love lists, year-end or otherwise, of people’s favorite books, and I love to dip into someone else’s reading list for a moment, to get a glimpse of great titles out there that I haven’t even heard of yet. And I also love snark. So while this post is a call for your book blogger recommendations, dear readers, I’ll recommend one of my own: Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviews. The author, “Lazy” is a late 20-something Canadian woman who went to Harvard, made a bunch of money working for a hedge fund, and […]


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Is the Times giving up on fiction?

Image credit: Literary Kicks Every week for the past two months, I’ve played a game where, on Sunday mornings, before I open the New York Times Book Review, I try to guess how many more books of nonfiction than fiction it will review. Fiction is consistently outnumbered, and don’t even get me started on the Book Review’s nearly nonexistent poetry coverage. But the past week surprised even this pessimistic grouch—only TWO fictional works are reviewed in the January 8, 2012 edition, plus Marilyn Stasio’s excellent crime reviewlets, in contrast to ELEVEN nonfiction works. The two fiction reviews are both skimpy […]


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The Amazon Rants

You’ve probably read about Amazon’s most recent promotion–they encouraged customers to use their price-check app in stores, scan an item, and then get an extra 5% discount for buying that item on Amazon instead. This promotion occasioned much ranting, including a piece by Richard Russo in the Times, and then a rant from an opposing perspective by Farhad Manjoo in Slate. It won’t surprise regular readers of this site, which routinely suggests buying from independent bookstores and which links to Powell’s most often, rather than Amazon (though we get no kickback from Powell’s, we just like them), to learn that […]


Reviews |

The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje

In The Cat’s Table, Ondaatje returns to Sri Lanka as the story follows three boys who, along with a cast of eccentrics, make their way from Colombo to England. By turns adventurous, mysterious, and wistful, the novel traces the search for belonging amidst strangers and strange lands. Charlotte Boulay considers Ondaatje’s latest beautiful offering in the context of his larger body of work.


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Get Writing: Scene and Summary, Minimalist and Maximalist

I have a problem telling stories. Sometimes in my excitement it’s difficult to gauge how much detail a friend, or a reader, actually needs to know. Because while not all details are important to understanding the events, to me, often the details are the most interesting part. So, if I’m trying to describe how late the train was, so late that it made me miss my doctor’s appointment, instead I might end up talking more about the argument I eavesdropped on while waiting for that train, and the maroon, bedazzled pumps of the woman who was hissing at her partner. […]




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