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






Letters to a Young Poet

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Interwar

Reading correspondence is not quite the same as reading a novel, obviously, but it can be just as valuable when it comes to understanding a writer, their work, literature of the period, or the general customs of the time period. Writers writing about writing can be a very enlightening read. This is a review of Letters to a Young Poet.




Suite Française


20th Century

These two novels were written in 1942, before their author was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz where she died of typhoid. The novels and notes were kept in a suitcase and taken by her daughter when she fled from the Nazis during the war. After that, the suitcase remained unopened until 1998. This is a review of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française.



The Bell Jar


Contemporary

When Greenwood is asked to list her symptoms, she keeps repeating that she can’t read and she can’t sleep. She is studying English for her post-secondary education, and reading as well as words define her life. When she can no longer read, what’s left of her world falls apart, and it drives her to attempt suicide. This is a review of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.