Ellan Read

sometimes witty book reviews

The Fifth Season

Its writers like N. K. Jemisin that remind you that the world didn’t stop writing when a bunch of old white people up and died in the late nineteenth century.

December 3, 2017 · 1 Comment

The Farewell Party

You can sacrificially burn the book after you’ve finished. But I personally am going to file it under ‘resources for outlining how straight men come to their privileged conclusions’.

November 24, 2017 · Leave a comment

China: Portrait of a People

Sip jasmine green tea in a quiet space while you explore this small but powerful little book.

November 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

What Bird Is That? A Guide to the Birds of Australia

It’s funny to think this book was printed in the year of the great Emu War of 1932 (no, really).

November 1, 2017 · 1 Comment

The Trespasser

The Dublin slang alone is enough to keep you reading. Jaysus. Bollix. Banjaxed. Gobshite. Bleeding shitehawk: poetry to the profane ear.

October 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

AUDIO BOOK: Metamorphosis

This. This is what I present to you as the 100th post on this blog. Does it mean something? Has this whole indulgence in literary naval gazing been as tedious for you as a day in the life Gregor Samsa? I hope not.

October 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Basicall, half of the epic is Gilgamesh missing his mate Enkidu and going on long adventures to prove his devotion to the bromance (*cough* romance *cough*). To prove his eternal love to Enky he goes looking for the secret to eternal life. No, that’s not a cliche. Because this epic literally did it first.

September 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Last Empress

Hannah Pakula presents a confident appraisal of Soong Mei-ling: China’s ‘last empress’ – a competent political tactician, devout Christian and fairly incredible person.

September 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Scarlet Letter

‘A squirrel, from the lofty depths of his domestic tree, chattered either in anger or merriment … so he chattered at the child, and flung down a nut upon her head.’

August 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Pianos and Politics in China

‘ Materialism may sometimes be a vulgar way of looking at art, but it is never inappropriate when seeking to understand art’s political and social context.’

August 13, 2017 · Leave a comment