Category Archives: 101greatreads

Strange weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami (Portobello)

“His full name was Mr Harutsuna Matsumoto, but I called him Sensei. Not Mr or Sir, but Sensei” THE original title of this off-beat romance was The Briefcase which as I read it is titillating bait. Which way does this … Continue reading

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Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker)

My dearest Ellen, Please excuse this too-long-delayed response JOSEPH, how nice to see you again. Another tome, lovely. A pleasure, I am sure. A treat even. Back in the Ghost Light territory are we? I never connected that Bram Stoker … Continue reading

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The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato (Penguin)

“The barbarous gold barons – they did not find the gold, they did not mine the gold, they did not mill the gold, but by some weird alchemy all the gold belonged to them.” THE quote is from 1929, Big … Continue reading

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Van Gogh and Britain (Tate)

“I’m gradually beginning to turn into a true cosmopolitan, meaning not a Dutchman, Englishman or Frenchman, but simoply a man” Vincent Van Gogh February 9, 1874. THIS  book goes with the brilliant exhibition at the Tate Britain, but sometimes a … Continue reading

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Spring by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

“Now what we don’t want is Facts” THE first two of this potential quartet – Autumn and Winter –  were pleasant if not totally convincing as the contemporary novel of weight and import. This on the other hand opens with … Continue reading

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The elegance of the hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Gallic)

“Marx has completely changed the way I view the world,” declared the Pallieres boy this morning, although ordinarily he says nary a word to me.” PERHAPS it is just my personal taste, but it seems as if a new form … Continue reading

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Talking to my daughter, a brief history of capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis (Vintage)

“All babies are born naked, but soon some are dressed in expensive clothes bought at the best boutiques while the majority wear rags” THE very best way to write a book is to sit down on an idyllic Greek island … Continue reading

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