Saturday, January 21, 2017

Waiting For Saskatchewan

Fred Wah. Waiting For Saskatchewan. Turnstone, 1985.


A very interesting selection of poems and prose-poems exploring grief, memory, genealogy. Some I found incomprehensible, but others were touching, revealing. Especially the China travels and the Elite series. A reminder that "mixed" is not always "Metis" and that identity is most likely a universal quest only complicated by race[s].

Friday, January 20, 2017

Even Dogs In the Wild

January 19, 2017
Ian Rankin. Even Dogs In the Wild. Orion, 2015. 



Thank you, Ian Rankin. I do love Rebus. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Adore

January 11, 2017

Doris Lessing. Adore. Harper, 2013.


This is the first Lessing I have read. Wonderful. Subtle. Believable. Short. and the additional material, bio and Nobel Prize speech, are also excellent. The importance of books and reading in today's world. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

I'm Your Man

Sylvie Simmons. I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. McClelland & Stewart, 2012.


There are not that many books which I find myself avoiding to finish, dragging my feet, putting it off, because I just do not want the story to end. I do not want to return to the everyday, to "Go back, go back to the world." I'm Your Man, the Sylvie Simmons biography of Leonard Cohen, is one of these. I didn't want it to end. At the same time, I have this feeling (the same one I had 40+ years ago after reading The Diviners) that there is absolutely nothing more to be said. Definitive. I will drown myself in the music.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case . . .

Colin Beavan. Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case that Launched Forensic Science. Hyperion, 2001.


A very interesting read, especially for a true crime and mystery buff. What stood out for me was the connection Beavan makes between urbanization and the need to devise reliable means of identification. In rural areas and smaller villages, everyone knew everyone. Once rural populations fled to the cities, no one knew anyone else. Sometimes police officers or prison guards would recognize previously convicted felons, but even this, as with eye-witness identification, is often unreliable. The French (Bertillon) began a system of measurements, but classification was difficult, too difficult for most policemen "in the field." A doctor working in Japan (Faulds) and an official working in India (Herschel) devised ways of taking and classifying fingerprints. Then the task became one of convincing police and the courts to accept prints as evidence, and of claiming and awarding credit.