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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Shadows of Your Black Memory - Donato Ndongo, Michael Ugarte Equatorial Guinea.I was quite impressed by this novel, which made me glad that I was unable to find a copy of his History and Tragedy of Equatorial Guinea. The story is narrated as two internal monologues, one voice calling itself "I," the other referring to that voice as "you," that recount the protagonist's formative years through his relationship with his tribal culture and religion as it interweaves, but does not commingle with, Spanish culture and Catholicism. The two voices, both of which alternate between storytelling and stream of consciousness reflection, capture the rift in identity that is such a ubiquitous and potent theme in narratives of coming of age under colonialism. Ndongo's novel is fruitfully read with Somé's memoir Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman for its spiritual/alternate reality passages, Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man for its evocation of sin and the fear of damnation, and Roth's Portnoy's Complaint for a much sadder and distressing version of Portnoy's encounter with the liver.