Tag: Ramona

Through the Window by Julian Barnes

Posted March 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

Through the Window by Julian BarnesTitle: Through the Window (Goodreads)
Author: Julian Barnes
Published: Vintage, 2012
Pages: 272
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for his book The Sense of an Ending which has sparked a huge increase in this man’s popularity. To follow up (cash in) on the buzz the release of Through the Window followed soon after, which holds Seventeen Essays (and a Short Story) on the books and authors that have meant the most to him over his career.

I remember reading Julian Barnes’ essay A Life with Books, which really was just a look at his reading history and I absolutely loved it. So I was eager to read this collection to learn more about this wonderful author. What I found was this collection was very dry and this made it difficult to read. Barnes is a very intelligent man and he flexed his intellectual muscles to the point where it back very difficult to read for a pseudo intellectual like me.

While I found it interesting to read this author’s thoughts on Penelope Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Kipling, Madame Bovary, Ford Madox Ford and George Orwell I tend to think Barnes wasn’t connecting to the reader like he did with his novels or the essay A Life with Books. It felt more like reading an academic essay more than just someone’s passion for these authors and books.

This is a difficult collection to get through, but people interested in learning more about Julian Barnes or these topics might find something in this book for them. I read this book as soon as I finished Ramona Koval’s By the Book, A Reader’s Guide to Life so it was difficult to go from a book with so much passion for reading to something so dry.


By the Book by Ramona Koval

Posted January 2, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

By the Book by Ramona KovalTitle: By the Book (Goodreads)
Author: Ramona Koval
Published: Text, 2012
Pages: 239
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Ramona Koval’s By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life is a memoir of the author’s reading journal. From her mother’s influences to her first library card all the way though to her career as a literary journalist. Ramona Koval writes this as a love story to the books that have influenced her life and career.

Not only is this book very easy to read, it might even offer some interesting titles for you to read. I know my ‘to read’ list suffered especially with the introduction to Richard Holmes; I’ve now added a heap of his books to my wish list. I almost read this in a sitting and I would’ve if I didn’t have to go to bed. I was drawn to Kaval’s literary journey and the reasoning behind reading some of the books.

It might be just me but I find people’s reading histories really interesting and give me a little confidence in my own journey. Personally I think I have an interesting journey and this book as inspired me to document it in better detail. I’ve started to build a slight obsession with memoirs about people’s reading history’s having recently read Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry and moving onto Through the Window by Julian Barnes after finishing this one. I have asked my readers for recommendations similar to these books in a recent blog post so I hope to read many more memoirs of bibliophiles.

By the Book is an entertaining read with some real gems; like borrowing Kafka from a library at a very young age and asking her mother to buy her a copy of the Kama Sutra. By the Book is not only an entertaining reading journey but hopefully it will inspire reader to share their own history with the world; I know I would like to read about them. It might be just my love of books and books about books but I really enjoyed this biography and recommend it to all serious readers.


Monthly Review – December 2012

Posted December 31, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

Now that 2012 has come to close, I find myself not reflecting on my year of reading but eagerly anticipating the books I get to read next year. All my reflections of 2012 seemed to have taken place in November. So now I want the Literary Exploration reading challenge to begin.

But as this is the end of December, let me quickly cover the important events of this month. Literary Exploration decided to read a travel/road trip book for the month; the book picked was the beat novel On the Road. This book had a lot of mixed reactions; even people thinking their own travel diaries would be more interesting. I’m now very concerned about what has happened when my wife goes travelling  For me I thought it was an enjoyable look at the beat generation and their ideals. Check out the conversations on Goodreads to find out what people said about this book.

A reminder that in January we will be reading Shadow of the Wind; I love this book and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the discussions will be like. I still haven’t decided if I want to reread it yet or wait till the series has finished before rereading it in its entirety. Either way, I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts.

As for my personal reading, I focused on reading non-fiction this month; well I started off that way but I got distracted. I’ve read some great books this month including; By the Book, a Readers Guide to Life which was a fascinating look at the author’s reading journey. Also I tried some dirty realism with Factotum by Charles Bukowski, a raw and gritty semi autobiographical novel which I highly recommend. What were your highlights of this month? Did you read anything great?

Monthly Reading

  • By the Book, A Reader’s Guide to Life by Ramona Koval
  • Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin
  • Factotum by Charles Bukowski
  • Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Through the Window by Julian Barnes
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami