28 August 2016

Book Review: Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Oh jeez, I hated this book. And when I finally reached the end, I couldn't be happier.

The thing is, I looked at this book as a challenge. Decades ago, I have read James Joyce's Dubliners, and while I guess I was still too young to appreciate it, I think I liked it. Then when I was in college, I took it as a challenge to read Ulysses, and that I definitely liked. So it has always been in my list to read Finnegans Wake, given the hype it has, and the extraordinary and unusual prose this book has.

A month and 600 pages later, I should say that I did not like this book. In fact, I hated it.

What is it about?

Well, that's the thing. It is very hard to tell what this book is about. Is there a story? Even scholars don't agree what the book is about. It is not like any novel I have seen, it is very experimental, and definitely out on a league of its own. So if you are thinking of reading this because you want to read a story, then forget it. Don't read this book, and pick up something else instead.

26 August 2016

Navigating through Normandy: Mont Saint-Michel (Exterior)

Ah, Mont Saint-Michel. I've seen pictures of this island fortress plenty of times in the past, but I haven't really visited it until now. So after my conference trip in Caen, I took the train from Caen to Pontorson, which was the closest town in Mont Saint-Michel that has a rail connection. I spent one night there, and the morning after, I checked out this fortress by the sea.

24 August 2016

Finding a Doctor that Doesn't Ignore Your Next-of-Kin

There's a medical procedure I need to get done sometime. It's not urgent, but I prefer getting it done sooner than later. And now I am trying to shop for a doctor.

22 August 2016

Navigating through Normandy: Church of Saint-√Čtienne

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am making a separate post for the attached church. This church is known for the fact that this is where William the Conqueror is buried.

20 August 2016

Things I Love in Berlin: Rare Ethnic Restaurants

When I was living in Buffalo, I used to like the fact that there was a lot of culinary diversity, much more than the regular mid-sized American city. I remember fondly going to Ethiopian and Burmese restaurants, which were more or less the most exotic choices Buffalo had, back when I was living there. So whenever I went out of Buffalo, I made it a point to try to go to other exotic restaurants, simply because there isn't a chance to do so at home.