Category Archives: 2020 Book Reviews

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 53: The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa

The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa is my first read for Women in Translation Month 2020.  It is the story of a single parent housekeeper and her relationship with a former mathematics professor that can not take care of himself after a serious accident a few years prior.  The housekeeper has a ten-year-old son named Root that develops a bond with the professor over mathematics and baseball.

Ogawa tells a beautiful, simple story about the relationships amongst the three principal characters and reveals how everyone needs connection to bring out the best we offer as human beings.  The professor cannot hold memories beyond eighty minutes long, and how the housekeeper navigates to this peculiar personality issue is handled well.

Also, I liked how Ogawa dealt with the professor’s genius with numbers. She did a solid job of revealing his character beyond his gift and how his relationship with the housekeeper’s son grew over the course of the novel. The author did not present the professor as some kind of freak or object to be gawked at from the wider society.

If you are looking for a gentle, simple story that reveals depth of character, then I recommend The Housekeeper and The Professor.  A good start to Women In Translation Month 2020!

Wisdom From Kammbia Review 51: Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the science fiction writers I have read throughout my reading life.  He joins Octavia Butler, Greg Bear, and Robert Silverberg as the science fiction writers I have found interesting and thought provoking to read. Pacific Edge is the third book of The Three Californias Trilogy and a book that… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 50: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

I want to update a review from 2012 for one of my all-time favorite novels, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower is the story of Lauren Olamina, a teenager growing up in a grim LA suburb where their gated community provided a semblance of a normal life while anarchy reigned… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 49: Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

There are books that make you want to turn the page to find out what happens next.  However, there are a few books that turns the page for you and invites the reader into the story.  Very few novels make you feel the latter.  Little Country by Charles de Lint is one of those novels. … Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 46: Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

  One of the joys of being a book review blogger is I get to read books I would have never come across in my normal book reading encounters. Latitudes of Longing by Mumbai-based writer Shubhangi Swarup is the latest book encounter outside of my normal reading experience.  This book was presented to me through… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 45: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

“Words are free, she used to say, and she appropriated them; they were all hers.” That sentence from early in the novel, Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende captures the spirit of her protagonist.  Eva Luna is a spinner of tales and the stories from growing up poor on the streets of an unnamed South American… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 44: The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

There is a popular meme where a guy is walking with his girlfriend and another woman walks past them.  He turns to check out the woman’s backside to the dismay of his girlfriend.  We have used the meme for all kinds of things, including how readers have always succumbed to new book fever. The girlfriend… Continue Reading