At present I’m reveling in the economic prose of a slim volume of five short stories, each of which is bathed in music, a particular instrument — a sax, a cello, an electric and acoustic guitar — or bluesy songs from the 1950s.
Great Thinkers of the Eastern World by Ian P McGreal was first published in 1995 and is still relevant. It chronologically summarizes the major works and theoretical ideas of more than 100 outstanding thinkers of the Eastern world — focussing on those from China, India, Japan, Korea, and the World of Islam.
Quality children’s picture books, published by top Vietnamese publishing houses, used to be renowned for their brilliant and vibrant illustrations, executed in watercolours by talented artists.
To “kick the bucket” is still used as an English-language slang term meaning “to die”. Its origins can be traced back to medieval times when large animals were slaughtered suspended over buckets to catch their blood. Often, in its death throes, the beast would kick over the bucket with a dangling, convulsing leg.
Here’s a real gem for professional or amateur ichthyologists. Recently we obtained a nicely maintained copy of E.M. Grant’s Guide To Fishes, first published in 1965. The 900-page hardcover book was originally intended to be a resource for marine researchers in Queensland, Australia, but it soon became popular with fisher- people worldwide, both commercial and recreational, and was unofficially subtitled The Fisherman’s Bible.
If I ever get around to writing my Vietnamese novel it will ooze with snippets about food. Foremost it will mention my most memorable sweet treat; hot sugarcane fished from a drum of steaming ginger syrup on a freezing night on a mountain track above Bac Me where, with a huddle of villagers, we squat around a fire and gnaw.
A couple of years ago, a republished series of Ayn Rand’s books were high on the list of Bookworm’s most requested books.
There’s a lot of interest right now in pediatrics in figuring out how electronic media affects young kids’ brains, learning styles and habits — especially toddlers who are attempting to get a handle on spoken language. There is also ongoing interest in how relationships with good books and stories affects their cognitive and social growth.
One of these is Look by Iranian born American poet, Solmaz Sharif.
Robert McCrum, critic for the Observer, wrote of Sebastian Barry’s latest novel: “Some novels sing from the first line, with every word carrying the score to a searing climax, and Days Without End is such a book.”