All Book Reviews

Hargrave reads voraciously and diversely — mostly antiquarian and classic books in translation. These are her book reviews.

While she reads more books than she could possibly write about, she does consistently post weekly reviews. New reviews are posted on Mondays.

Looking for one of the books that have been reviewed? Want to find some vintage treasures of your own? Second-hand and used books are unique and eco-friendly, and can be found at your local independent bookseller. If you’re looking for an American bookseller, you can check here. UK booksellers can be found here.

If you’d prefer to buy books online, many vintage and rare editions can be found at AbeBooks.

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All Book Reviews

Mary Olivier


Sometimes when the New Year is young, it’s easy to look back on other times of transition. I know a lot of fiction describes a moment where suddenly one transitions from childhood to adulthood, but I think the reality is that childhood ends in a series of moments, realizations, and formative events. This is a review of May Sinclair’s Mary Olivier. The book is a 1919 first edition.

The Wild Ass’s Skin

Romantic Era

Balzac’s sits nearly at the end of main street, and when you sit inside of it, it’s easy to forget that you exist in the modern world. The tin ceiling design and the white marble of the counters as well as the café set up are a comforting beckon to the past and the distant, and it was sitting at one of those counters by the window that I thought about starting a book review blog in the first place. This is a review of Honoré de Balzac’s The Wild Ass’s Skin (La Peau de Chagrin).

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz


The book is one about the ruthlessness and all-consuming nature of greed as well as the eventual consequences of leading a life driven by monetary gain. I won’t give away the ending, but I’ll warn you that it’s nothing like Ebenezer Scrooge’s and there are no warm fuzzies involved. This is a review of Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.